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Man Arraigned For Alleged Illegal Bank Operation

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday arraigned one Philemon Gora in a Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly operating a bank without a valid license.

Gora was arraigned along with his company, Cash Flow Global Fund Investment, on two counts of operating a bank without licence and consenting to carrying out banking business without a valid license.

“That you Philemon Gora, knowingly consented to the carrying on of banking business without a valid license issued to the company.

“You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 49(1) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act and punishable under Section 2 of the same act,’’ one of the charges read.

Gora pleaded not guilty to the charges, stressing, “I am not guilty because I have a valid license.’’

Following an oral application for bail by his counsel, Mr. Alex Marema, the judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, admitted him to bail in the sum of N10m with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties, the judge said, must be officers not below Grade Level 16 and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge said the sureties should deposit their two recent passport photographs with the court.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr G.K. Latona had objected to the oral application for bail on the ground that the defendant, having stated in the dock that he had a valid license, would continue to operate the bank if granted bail.

Latona also told the court that over 60 million Nigerians were customers of the bank with over N2 billion in the bank.

The judge however said that she was mindful to grant Gora bail because she understood his statement that he had a valid license to mean that he was not guilty of the charge and not otherwise.

She said that she considered the oral application for bail of the accused in the interest of justice taking into cognisance the coming public holiday.

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