July 23, 2017

EFCC arraigns bankers, six others in connection to N42 million fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned seven persons, including a former UBA staff, before a Lagos State High Court for the stealing and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The accused allegedly attempted to steal some N42.5 million from UBA in June 2009 and were arraigned on a five count charge of conspiracy before Justice Candide-Johnson.

According to media reports, the group pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against them.

Trial proceedings for the case immediately followed the arraignment. Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had come to the court with four principal witnesses ready to testify against the accused.

The court heard from the first witness, Ojo Oladimeji, an Internal Auditor/Investigator with UBA, told the court that the bank had been alerted to the crime when one of its customers had received an alert saying his account had been debited to the tune of N42.5 million.

Bank officials quickly investigated the incident and soon discovered that the some N265 million had been transferred to several accounts in different locations.

According to the witness, the funds had been transferred illegally using the network ID and password of the Branch Operations Manager, adding that the additional N42 million deducted from the customer’s account had already been transferred into the accounts of Delight International Agency, a non-existent organisation.

Mr Oladimeji told the court that one of the accused had issued six cheques – valued at N1 million, N5 million, N2 million, N2,million, N2million and N10 million all on the same date of June 11, 2009. One of the suspects had been arrested when he attempted to present the false cheques in Lagos, the witness said.

He alleged that the suspect, accused of penning the fraudulent cheques, was part of a ring that specializes in defrauding financial institutions and unsuspecting members of the public.

A second witness and staff of the UBA, Ugwuoke Oliver, that the female bank staff arrested in connection to the fraud scheme confessed to bank authorities that she had used the branch manager’s information to commit the crime.

The court only had the time to hear the testimonies of two of the four witnesses. Justice Johnson has remanded the accused persons in EFCC custody without bail and the case is adjourned to Friday, April 27.

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