Ex-NEXIM Bank MD, Orya, goes on trial over N1.3bn fraud

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Former Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank), Roberts Orya, was on Thursday arraigned before Justice F.E Messiri of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo Abuja, on a 49-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, impersonation, misappropriation, official corruption, fraud and abuse of office.

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He allegedly abused his position as managing director of the bank to obtain N1.368 billion from NEXIM Bank.

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Orya as managing director of NEXIM Bank, incorporated a company, Luxurium Leisure Service Limited, using the names of non-existent persons and others without their consent, and proceeded to grant loans to the company which remained unpaid years after.

The offence contravenes section 1 (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you Mr. Roberts Orya while being the managing director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) on or about the 21st day of September 2011 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud induced Nigerian Export-Import Bank to pay to Treasure Mix Construction Limited the sum of N488 million as loan under the pretence that the directors of Luxurium Leisure Services Limited applied for and are the beneficiaries of the said loan which pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1 (1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act’.”

Count four reads: “That you Mr. Roberts Orya while being the managing director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) on or about the 19th February, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, induced Nigerian Export-Import Bank to pay to Treasure Mix Construction Limited the sum of N630 million as loan under the pretence that the directors of Luxurium Leisure Services Limited applied for and are the beneficiaries of the said loan which pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”

The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to him.

Upon his plea, counsel to the EFCC, S.A Ugwuegbulam, asked for a date for trial to commence.

He opposed the motion for bail of the defendant, stating that the defence only served him in court. He also told the court that the defendant had jumped the administrative bail offered him by the Commission.

Justice Messiri rejected the oral bail application and adjourned till November 29, 2021 for consideration of a formal bail application, while remanding the defendant in the custody of the EFCC.

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