The Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Annex, Ikoyi, Lagos yesterday re-arraigned a former bank manager, identified as Fidelis Egueke, at a Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged N179.498million fraud.

Egueke, who last worked as the bank’s Asaba, Delta State, branch manager, was brought before Justice Tijjani Ringim on an amended 13-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and fraud.

The former bank manager was arraigned on a similar three-count charge on November 25 before Justice Chuka Obiozor, but, following the judge’s transfer, the case was reassigned to Justice Ringim.

At the commencement of the proceedings yesterday, police counsel Morufu Animashaun informed the court of the new amended charge against the defendant.

However, Egueke pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts.

His counsel Ugochukwu Egwu prayed the court to allow him to continue enjoying bail on the same terms granted him by the former judge.

Granting the application, Justice Ringim adjourned till December 6, 7 and 8 for trial.

According to the new charge, the defendant and others now at large, between May 14, 2010 and December 31, 2019, at No. 2 Balogun Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, conspired to obtain the N179.498million from the Managing Director of Global Select Investment Services Ltd, by false pretence that they would help him sell some goods and remit the money to his bank.

The court also heard that the Egueke, upon selling the goods, allegedly diverted the proceeds to his bank account, but informed the fraud victim that most of the goods he imported from the USA were inferior and of low standard