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First Bank ex-staff bags 7yrs jail term over N187mn fraud

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

After seven years legal proceedings, a High Court sitting in Oyo State has handed First Bank of Nigeria former staff, Oreoluwa Adesakin, a cumulative seven years imprisonment for engaging in a fraud worth over N187 million while working with the financial institution.

Aside from the jail term, Adesakin, who was arraigned on April 4, 2014 after Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) concluded its investigation, was also directed by the court to pay First Bank, through the anti-graft agency, all the money she stole from the bank coffers.

A breakdown of the fraud said to have been committed by former banker before the arraignment were N49,320,652 and US$368,203 (N138, 812, 531) owned by the financial institution and converted to personal use by the accuse in 2013.

Although the accuse pleaded not guilty to the charges, Justice Muniru Olagunju, noted that EFCC amassed a pool of incontrovertible evidence against the convict in its four months investigation.

As gathered, the anti-graft agency was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.

Olagunju further pronounced Adesakin guilty of the 14-count charges levelled against her, bordering on stealing, forgery as well as fraudulent accounting and sentenced her to seven years jail term without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts, which would run concurrently.

Earlier during the hearing, one of the charges read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC”.

Prosecution counsel, Usman Murtala, while arguing his case, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict, showing that as the bank Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and Money Gram platforms, fraudulently manipulated accounting and withdrew the total sums of N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.

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