Justice Olusola Ajibike Williams of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, at the weekend heard how three businessmen, Ifeanyi Nwaneri, Omede Silas Shehu and Monday Akor, allegedly swindled Access Bank of N1.2 billion on a non-existent deal through Point-of-Sale otherwise known as POS.
The trio, facing an 11-count charge of stealing and fraud were arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The offence, according to the EFCC was allegedly perpetrated by the accused persons between August 5 and September 18, 2017.
In an evidence before Justice Williams, an EFCC’s official, Awoti Moses, accused Nwaneri,Shehu and Akor of swindling the bank of N1.2 billion through POS.
Moses, attached to the special task force team 1(STF 1) of the EFCC, testified before Justice Williams and while being led by the commission’s lawyer, Nnaemeka Omewa, said that Nwaneri alongside others committed the offence between August 5 and September 18, 2017.
He said: “Access Bank filed a petition to the commission, dated September 25, 2017, on a fraudulent transaction involving a POS machine purportedly issued by the defendant.
“My role in the investigation was field operation. After the case was assigned to my team STF1, I visited the defendant’s house with a search warrant on October 10, 2017.
“When I arrived, I discovered that his house was a newly rented apartment which was neatly and fully furnished, athough he had barely two shirts hanging inside the wardrobe.
“I met the defendant and asked if he could take me to his former apartment but he bluntly refused. So, I asked him to produce the POS machine he allegedly used in committing the offence, but he kept telling stories upon stories. I thereafter demanded that he take me to his shop but he claimed he was not with his keys.
“When we investigated further, we discovered that the chairman of Ladipo market, one Mr. Africanus was among those who benefitted from the loot.
“The defendant had sent the sum of N400, 000 to the chairman. On that discovery, the commission immediately blocked the account of Mr. Africanus. However, when we queried the chairman of the market, he confessed that the money he collected from the defendant was for a shop, Shop 12, he rented.”
Besides, the anti-graft agency alleged that Nwaneri fraudulently carried out several transactions on the Point of Sales (POS), terminal enabled for international transactions/ cards issued to him by the bank.
The EFCC also alleged that as at the time of his arrest, the defendant had withdrawn N532, 929,914.91 while leaving a balance of N677, 856,826.80 in his account.
However, their offence, according to EFCC contravened Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”
The trio pleaded not guilty to all counts as Justice Williams thereafter adjourned the matter to September 24 and 25 for further hearing.
Meanwhile, a Tinubu Chief Magistrate’s court will on August 16 determine an alleged three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, theft and stealing of N13 million initiated against a 29year-old staff of Access Bank, Mr. Kolawole Agboola.
Agboola allegedly stole about N13.6 million from the accounts of two customers of the bank.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the alleged offences. The 29-year-old banker, according to the prosecutor, Sergeant Hafsat Ajibode, allegedly committed the offence between October 2017 and March 2018.
The offence, Ajibode said contravened Sections 287 (7), 325 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 with Section 287 (7) stipulating seven years imprisonment for offenders.
Ajibode said that the accused person withdrew the money from unnamed Access Bank customers’ accounts by issuing a forged investment certificate to them to conceal his fraudulent activities.
Chief Magistrate Tajudeen Elias granted bail to the accused person in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum, saying one of the sureties must be a relative of the accused person and the other, a civil servant, while he adjourned the case to August 16 for hearing
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