Prosecutors Filed New Indictment in Kailondo US$930K Theft Case

Business tycoon George Kailondo.

Just a day after Judge Ousmane Feika dismissed the government’s Indictment filed against several senior management including the managing director, Ikenna Anekwe of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), the state had somersaulted with another Indictment this time for the crime of misapplication of entrusted property.

Initially, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) through George B. Kailondo, the chief executive officer of the Kailondo Petroleum Incorporated, filed before Criminal Court 'C,’ an indictment, where they accused Anekwe and others of illegally withdrawing the amount of US$930,500 out of Kailondo's account lodged at the bank, for which Kailondo asked Solicitor General Semah Syrennious Cephus to indict the defendants with the commission of the crimes of theft property and criminal conspiracy, and Cephus did.

Unfortunately, that Indictment was dismissed by Judge Feika on grounds that Anekwe and his co-defendants in the indictment were named as corporate officers of GTBank who are merely agents of the bank and acting in an agency role as their principal. But to have them named in the indictment without stating the wrongful or criminal conduct of each of them as required under the law leaves much to be desired.

Surprisingly, Solicitor General Cephus, though agreed with Judge Feika's decision, had dramatically filed a new indictment, wherein he included a different crime---misapplication of entrusted property. Before the new Indictment, Cephus was accepted to serve as the mediator between Kailondo and the GTBank, but it is not clear what necessitated Cephus's decision to go for two Indictments against Anekwe and his co-defendants for a commercial transaction that happened six years.

At present, the matter is before Judge Feika and it is not clear whether or not this would change his judgement in favor of Kailondo, though it is unknown whether Feika will remain the assigned judge of Criminal Court 'C' during the November 2021 Term of Court to hear the case again.

This is because it is the responsibility of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to decide which judge to serve which court, and probably Judge Feika may be replaced by another judge. It all started when Cephus’s invention collapsed after the bank’s management refused to heed to Mr. Kailondo’s request for unhindered access to the proceeds of two transactions and the bank’s unwillingness to accept other unspecified demands from Kailondo and the office of the Solicitor General.

All of these happened when Solicitor General Cephus's mediation role broke down between the parties, the bank and Kailondo, which necessitated the MoJ Indictment.

In order to ensure that the payment of the US$930,500 is made to Kailondo, the prosecutors arrested the defendants, seized their individual passports, and subsequently placed a Ne Exeat Republica that restrained them from leaving the country until the case was resolved. With the new Indictment, it is unclear whether the prosecutor would try to institute a similar method to restrict the defendants from leaving the country.

In the dismissed Indictment, Kailondo and the prosecutors in July this year indicted GT Bank Managing Director, Ikenna Anekwe,  Operations Manager Olush Alioh, the head of finance, Faruq Okonila, and three other senior employees for allegedly withdrawing the US$930,500 from Kailondo's checking accounts that was in the bank between 2014 and 2016.

It can be recalled that the former Managing Director of GT Bank (Dan Orogun), who was a very close associate of Mr. Kailondo, met his untimely death while on a boat ride with the businessman. Based on the questionable nature of the Bank’s former Managing Director’s death due to the absence of basic safety equipment like a life jacket on board the boat, Mr. Kailondo was charged with Negligent Homicide and recklessly endangering another person in October 2016, but the state has reneged on its obligation to pursue the case.