A Federal High Court in Enugu, on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Patrick Nwokike and his wife, Rosemary of allegations of operating a “wonder” bank.
Delivering judgment, Justice R. O. Dugbo-Oghoghorie, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove its case against the couple and their firm, “Let’s Partner With You”.
The judge held that in criminal proceedings, the burden lay on the prosecution to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt as against beyond every shadow of doubt.
The judge, therefore, resolved all the issues on a four-count charge preferred against the defendants by the EFCC in favour of the defendants.
However, the court held that non of the witnesses presented by the prosecution was able to establish that the defendants were either operating a banking business or invited the public to deposit money.
“The law provides that for a business to constitute banking business by receiving deposits, the cash deposit must have been received on current account, savings account or other similar account,
“As regards counts one and two of the charge, the business of the defendants is not banking business as provided for under the laws upon which they are charged.
“On counts three and four, the prosecution failed to provide cogent and compelling evidence for this court to hold that the defendants made advertisements for the public to deposit cash on current account, savings account or other similar account,” Dugbo-Oghoghorie said