Ex-Skye Bank Chairman Requests More Time To Settle Wiith EFCC

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A former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), Tunde Ayeni, has pleaded with Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja for more time to conclude settlement talks with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the money laundering charges filed against him in March.

Mr Ayeni told the court on Monday through his counsel, Dele Adesina, that he needed about 45 days to conclude the talks.

At the resumed hearing, EFCC counsel, Suraj Saeda, said the defence had not had any discussion with the commission since July this year when the matter was adjourned on the request of the defence to explore the out-of-court settlement option.

Ayeni is being accused of conspiring to commit money laundering offences in 2014 by transferring N3 billion from Skye Bank’s suspense account to the account of Control Dredging domiciled with FCMB.

Mr Adesina, however, said that Ayeni was engaging the bank in talks and that it would involve the EFCC at the end.

“The first defendant (Ayeni) had a discussion with me on Friday and briefed me how far he had gone with the bank, not with the EFCC. Yes, the first defendant has not approached the EFCC. So, my learned brother for the prosecution was only saying it as it is when he said we have not approached the EFCC,” he said.

“Once there is a truce between the bank and the defence, we then go to the EFCC. In order to make this come to fruition, we plead that you give us another opportunity.”

Justice Ojukwu adjourned till November 21 for report of settlement.

Ayeni and Skye Bank’s former managing director, Timothy Oguntayo, are also facing a four-count charge of criminal breach of trust and engaging in fraud of about N456.6 billion at an FCT High Court sitting in Apo.

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