Monday, 9 October 2017

Banker arrested aboard plane for ‘N25.4m theft’

A former banker, who allegedly stole N25,466,330.00 from a new generation bank but was arrested in Lagos on a Dubai-bound plane, has been charged before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.

James Oke, 28, and his alleged accomplice Moyosore Shofowora, 27, who is also a banker, was docked on Friday before Chief Magistrate B. A. Sonuga.

The defendants, of the bank’s Ogba Branch, are standing trial on two counts of conspiracy and stealing.

Prosecuting Police Inspector Abbass Abayomi told the court that the defendants committed ‎the alleged offences between September 22, 2016 and July 28, 2017, at the bank’s Ogba Branch.

He alleged that they conspired and stole N25,466,330 from the bank.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 411 and 287 (7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Oke and Shofowora pleaded not guilty.
Their counsel Mr O. Gani and Mr U. N. Ezeokeke sought bail in liberal term.
But this was opposed by the prosecutor on the ground that the defendants were a flight risk.
Abayomi said: “Your honour I’m opposing the bail. The bail of the defendants should be very stringent, because if you grant them bail on liberal terms they would abscond.

“The first defendant was about leaving the country when he was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. He boarded the plane, belted himself up and the plane was just about to take off when the police came onboard and arrested him. He then led the police to the second defendant’s home where he was also arrested.
“The defendants, after successfully defrauding the bank, tendered their resignation letters to the bank and left.

“The bank discovered the fraud afterwards and caught their accomplice who was still in the bank’s employment. The accomplice confessed and returned all the money he stole, after which he was sacked.

“It was this third person, who isn’t charged along with them, that told the police that the first defendant was at the airport about to leave the country.”
In a bench ruling, Magistrate Sonuga granted each defendant N5million bail, with two sureties in the like sum.

The first surety must be a manager at Skye Bank, while the second must be a manager at Wema Bank and must own landed property.
They must also surrender their international passports, deposit N1million into the account of the court’s registrar and have their addresses verified.
The case continues on November 14.

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