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Italian in court for defrauding Zenith Bank N700m

The Special Fraud Unit on Tuesday took an Italian national, Piero Allan Franchillo, before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding Zenith Bank Plc of over N700m.
The 56-year-old, who appeared before Justice Ibrahim Buba, was charged with five counts bordering on conspiracy, Advanced Fee Fraud, forgery and presenting forged documents.
According to the prosecutor, Mrs. Susan Ezema, the accused had, between August 2013 and April 2014, obtained a sum of N717,403,475.36 from Zenith Bank Plc for the purpose of constructing Delta Mall at Effurum, Delta State.
Franchillo was, however, said to have conspired with some persons, still at large, to “fraudulently convert the money to his own personal use rather than executing the project.”
The SFU prosecutor added, “The accused did forge an extract of minutes of meeting of the Board of Directors of New Technic Construction Nigeria Limited purportedly held on August 26, 2013, accepting APG/Bid Bond Line for enhancement of N1.5bn and overdraft renewal of N50m for the construction of Delta Mall.”
According to the prosecutor, Franchillo was able to obtain the N717m from the bank by presenting the forged document.
Ezima told the court that the alleged offences contravene section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2010, and sections 390 (1), 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code, Cap C.38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.
But Franchillo pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The court however ordered him to be remanded in prison and adjourned the case till February 6, 2015 to hear his application for bail filed by his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN).

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