Bankers defrauded CBN N1.4bn in one deal – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday arraigned the last batch of the accused persons in the hearing into N8bn Central Bank of Nigeria mutilated currency fraud suit at the Federal High Court in Ibadan.

The EFCC told Justice Adeyinka Faaj that the accused persons, Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola, Kayode Philip, Ajuwon Bolade and Samuel Ogbeide, conspired with other two suspects, Onabanjo Olumayowa and Tijani Olusoga, who are now at large, between 2011 and 2012 in Ibadan to trick CBN to deliver the sum of N1.6bn to Zenith Bank Plc instead N159,431,700.

The charge sheet read that the accused persons “induced the Central Bank of Nigeria to deliver property to the Zenith Bank Plc, to wit: an aggregate sum of N1,060,000,000 as against the actual sum of N159,431,700 on the false pretences that the 106 boxes, containing supposed mutilated N1,000 notes, which you took to the Ibadan branch of the CBN on behalf of the said Zenith Plc, contained a total sum of N1,060,000,000.”

It said the suspects “thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1 (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.”

Lead prosecution counsel for EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said the accused persons committed a financial crime punishable under the laws of Nigeria.

Four counts were was preferred against the accused and they all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

After turning down an oral bail application from counsel for the accused, Justice Faaj later fixed June 12, 2015 for hearing of motion on the bail applications while also ordering the accused persons to be remanded in prison.

Arraignment of the accused persons in the suit began on Tuesday and by Thursday, 22 bank officials had already been brought before the court and remanded in prison except, a nursing mother, who was ordered to be kept in the custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Ibadan.

EFCC counsel expressed happiness with the court proceeding so far but feared that counsel to the accused persons could employ delay tactics in the suit.

He added that EFCC was doing everything possible to ensure that those who were at large would be apprehended and presented before the court.

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