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EFCC Narrates How Customer Lose N1.8bn in Sterling Bank Plc Care

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, commence trial against a Sterling Bank Plc official over N1.8bn alleged fraud

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The eagle eye of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has caught up with a banker working for Sterling Bank Plc over N1.8bn alleged fraud.

An official of the bank, Ifeanyichukwu Shallom Isituah and a businessman, Ighodaro Austin Osaretin was alleged to steal the sum of N1,790,558,000 belonging to a customer of the bank, Wells Procurement Limited with account number – 0016798848.

The matter has since been dragged to court after thorough investigation by the anti graft agency.

An EFCC Investigator, Adamu Mohammed, told Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, that the agency received a petition with reference No: SB/IAG/12/EFCC/011 duly signed by the Head IT and Head Intelligence and Investigation on behalf of Sterling Bank.

Mohammed, who works with the Team C Cybercrime department of the EFCC, while testifying on oath, said that the petitioner alleged that a customer’s bank account was profiled via internet banking and the said sum was diverted to various individuals and companies.

While led in evidence by the prosecutor, N. M. Anana, the witness testified that preliminary investigation by the bank revealed that the second defendant’s profile, Isituah, a female, was used to initiate the account on internet banking and more than 24 accounts got the same amount of money.

Also Read: Alleged N111.5billion Revenue Fraud Reports Indicts Zenith Bank

“Investigation letters were sent to FCMB, Zenith, First Bank, Fidelity Bank and Access Bank. Responses were received from the banks and the statement of accounts were analysed and the analysis revealed that most of the company’s accounts the money was transferred to were BDC (Bureau de Change) operators.

“Some of them reside in Abuja, Kaduna and there was one address that we suspected to live in Lagos, Ndifreke Roberts. But all efforts to trace the address of Kaduna, Lagos and Abuja suspects did not yield any information to help the commission get them.

“On March 10, 2020, the DSS handed over the two defendants to the commission under the instruction of the AGF (attorney-general of the Federation) for further investigation. The two defendants’ statements were voluntarily taken under caution.

“The first defendant revealed that he has a company called Universal Agriculture Empowerment Initiative as an NGO which received the sum of sixty million naira as part of the transfer from that Sterling Bank customer’s account. He further stated that the money was received from one Osaretin (second defendant) and transferred to his account as a donation.

“That he introduced one of his friends who is the owner of Villavon International School who also received one hundred million naira from the said fraud.

“He further stated that he called a BDC in the name of Damo who owns Damoo Ten Ventures. Damo was invited to the commission and he volunteered a statement that the first defendant contacted him and he transferred sixty million naira to various accounts and further instructed the owner of the International School to transfer ninety-five million naira.

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“The dollar equivalent was received in cash by the first defendant. The first defendant further stated that the money was used at IDP camps around the country. I cannot remember the specific location but he mentioned a place in Borno and Adamawa, the witness said.

However, during cross examination by the defence lawyer, A. Okenile, the EFCC operative said that Sterling Bank gave the commission the information that the second defendant profiled the account for the alleged fraud.

When asked what links the second defendant to the alleged fraud, Mohammed said, “the offence was committed at Sterling Bank and it was reported. The offence took place during a public holiday and the bank realized it on December 28. The accounts of the customer we are talking about has never been profiled for internet banking. So we had to understand how it was transferred, which was through internet banking.

“The bank said the account doesn’t have internet banking access and it was a staff that did it and the second defendant’s profile was used to connect the account to internet banking. Without that profiling money cannot be transferred from that account.

“Even when the bank tried to contact her, she ran away. She was nowhere to be found. Not until the Department of State Services (DSS) traced, arrested her and handed her over to the commission”.

The matter was further adjourned till October 19 for continuation of trial.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and occupied same office with Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

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Suru Homes Boss, Edward Akinlade in Alleged Messy N1.7Billion Deal

Suru Homes Boss, Edward Akinlade in alleged nessy N1.7Billion fraud over selling property he had used as collateral for a Fidelity bank loan.

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The Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Suru Homes Ltd, Edward Akinlade has been arraigned at an Ikeja Special Offences Court for allegedly selling property he had used as collateral for a Fidelity bank loan.

Akinlade and his company were arraigned on a 10-count charge of stealing and issuance of dud cheques proffered against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendants plead not guilty to the charges.

According to the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Temitope Banjo, Akinlade committed the offences sometime in 2017 in Lagos.

“The defendant with an intent to defraud, converted the property situated at No. 11A Lawson Adeyemi St., Ikoyi, Lagos by selling it without the knowledge of the bank and diverting the proceeds of the sale.

“The property was part of a legal mortgage he had used as an part of a collateral to secure a loan of N1.7 Billion loan he had obtained from Fidelity Bank Plc,”the EFCC prosecutor said.

Banjo noted that on Sept. 8, 2017, the CEO issued nine separate dud Guarantee Trust Bank, GTB checks of N10million each to Fidelity Bank Plc.

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“When the cheques were presented for payment, they were dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing in the credit of the account,” he said.

The offences violate Sections 1(1)(a)(b) and 2 of the Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act 2004 and Section 284 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

After the arraignment, the defence counsel, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN) told the court that he only became aware of the charges the EFCC had filed against Akinlade the previous day.

The SAN noted that in response, he had filed a bail application and had just served a copy of the application to the EFCC.

Responding, the EFCC prosecutor acknowledged receipt of the bail application and told the court that needed some time to respond to it.

“My lord, the charges have been filed since 2020 and it was impossible and very difficult to arrest the defendant until yesterday.

“The Bank Fraud Section of the EFCC on several occasions put calls across to the defendant to no avail.

Read Also: SFU Opens Trial Of Syndicate who Theft N.9Billion From FCMB

“He jumped administrative bail and he is being investigated by four sections of the EFCC,” Banjo said.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a ruling granted Akinlade bail in the sum of N30million with two sureties in like sum.

“One surety shall be a legal practitioner and the second surety shall be a close relative of the defendant.

“The sureties shall swear to an affidavit of means and their home and office addresses shall be verified by the court,” she said.

The case was adjourned until Oct. 11 for trial.

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BDC Operator Yakub in Court Over Alleged N197m Fraud

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A Bureau De Change, BDC Operator, Yusuf Yakub has been dragged to court over allegations of misappropriation of funds and N197m Fraud

Yakub was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Kano State High Court on a count charge.

The defendant was said to have allegedly obtained the sum of $870,000 only from the complainant under the pretext of changing same to Naira but returned only the sum of N220, 300,000 and diverted the balance of N197, 600,000.

Yakub however pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

Upon his not guilty plea, the EFCC counsel, Musa Isah however asked the court for a trial date.

Also Read: N7m Fraud: Ponzi Scheme Operator, Umoren Edet Gets Conviction

In a counter reaction, Counsel to the defendant, Abdul Adamu informed the court that he had filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

Subsequently, the presiding judge, Justice Sanusi Ma’aji, granted the defendant bail in the sum of Fifty Million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

According to the judge, one of the sureties must be a relative of the defendant and both must also be residents of Kano. Their business addresses must also be verified.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till August 18 for argument on the motion.

The Charge reads; “that Yakubu Yusuf on or about 14 of January 2021 within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, with intent to defraud, dishonestly and misappropriated the said sum belonging to Oliver Ogokumaka and Obumnemi Okoli and thereby committed an offense contrary to section 308 and punishable under section 309 of the Penal Code.”

 

 

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Landlord Cries Out As AMCON Flouts Court Order To Demolish Buildings

Save Our Soul: Landlord Cries Out As AMCON Flouts Court Order To Demolish Victory Park Estate Buildings In Lekki area of Lagos State.

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A landlord, Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu, has cried out over ongoing illegal demolition of his two buildings in Victory Park Estate, Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island, by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, against the order of the Court of Appeal, in Lagos.

Mr. Shittu said the AMCON’s action on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 is not only contemptuous, but also a flagrant abuse of the Court of Appeals’ judgement delivered by Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban, leading two other judges, including Justice Mudashiru Oniyagi and Justice Jamilu Y. Tukur, on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, in Lagos.

He said the judgement forbade AMCON from taking any action on the said properties in Victory Park Estate, in Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island.

In the judgement, which was sequel to an appeal challenging the ruling of the High Court of Lagos, by Justice Coram K.A. Jose delivered on October 24, 2019, dismissing the Defendant’s, now Appellant’s Notice of Preliminary Objection, granted the Order of Interlocutory Injunction in favour of the First and Second Respondents, Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu and More & S.A. More Limited.

According to the court, its judgement, which was based on the facts leading to the appeal as contained in the Appellant’s Brief are:

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“By a Writ of summons and Statement of Claim dated 6th September, 2019, and filed during the lower Court’s 2019 annual vacation, the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Mr Adebayo Mumuni Shittu and More & S.A. More Limited), herein instituted an action against the 3rd and 4th Respondents only (Knight Rook Limited and Mr Lanre Olaoluwa respectively).

“That the 1st and 2nd Respondents also sought an Order of Interlocutory Injunction against the Defendants at the lower Court.

The Appellant being the party with the sole interest in the subject matter of the Suit applied to be joined in the Suit by a Motion dated 16th September, 2019, the Appellant was joined by the lower Court on the 17th September, 2019.”

According to the judgement, “the cause of action by the Respondents before the trial court, as can be garnered from record, is on the transaction between the 1st and 2nd Respondents and the 3rd and 4th Respondents which principally centres on sale of land on which the purported residence of the 1st and 2nd Respondents stands.

“It is on record that the Respondent was said to have been allegedly locked out of his residence.”

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According to the court, “It is on the strength of this that the learned trial judge exercised his judicial discretion restraining the 3rd and 4th Respondents from any form of further restriction of the 1st and 2nd Respondents from his said house pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

The judgement further stated that, “A judicial discretion is said to be a science of understanding to discern between falsity and truth, between a shadow and substance, between equity and colourable glosses and preference, and not to do their wills and private affection.

“Wherefore, judicial discretion has been exercised bona fide as in the appeal at hand uninfluenced by irrelevant considerations and not arbitrary or illegally by the lower court, the general rule is that an Appeal Court will not ordinarily interfere.”

A visit to the Victory Park Estate Estate showed that bulldozers were at work, demolishing the buildings on the directive of AMCON.

Attempts to speak with the officials proved abortive as the Supervisor on site refused to talk to the press and also declined in giving out the contact of their head/manager for a reaction on the development.

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