Suru Homes boss Edward Akinlade gets court verdict on alleged N1.7bn loan fraud

Suru Homes CEO Edward Akinlade

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday struck out a suit against Suru Homes Ltd CEO Edward Akinlade charged with N1.7 billion loan fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Mr Akinlade alongside his company on a 10-count charge bordering on theft and issuance of dud cheques.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in her ruling, said that the case was at the discretion of the court and not of EFCC, following an out-of-court settlement letter dated June 1 and initiated by the complainant, Fidelity Bank.

The letter of withdrawal was tendered to court on June 17.

“The prosecution counsel has informed the court that he is not aware of the resolution of this matter despite being copied with the letter of authority of withdrawal from the complainant and that he did not concede to the withdrawal of this case.

“He said he did not have the authority of his office to withdraw the case.

“However, on the authority of FRN v Onnogen, the Supreme Court held that the complainant can withdraw his matter in any case that is not criminal such as murder and armed robbery without the consent of the state or EFCC as the case may be.

“This is a civil case of stealing and issuance of dud cheque. In the light of the foregoing, I hereby strike out this case and the defendant is accordingly discharged,” the judge ruled.

The defence counsel, Pedro Lawal, had informed the court of an application for striking out the case, based on letter of withdrawal by Fidelity Bank.