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Banker In Court For Diverting N700m From Customers’ Accounts

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned a banker, Nsa Ayi, before Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja for fraudulent and false accounting to the tune of N700m.

He was also said to have altered instructions and falsified signatures of customers to transfer money into various accounts outside the bank.

The EFCC, which arraigned Ayi on 11 counts of fraud, said the offences were contrary to Section 335(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

The defendant, a former Relationship Officer, Coronation Merchant Bank, allegedly connived with unknown parties to move funds using customers’ electronic instructions meant for investment in the Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds, Treasury Bills and Fixed Deposits.

The money was allegedly transferred in tranches into the defendant’s Guaranty Trust Bank account, 0001600855, as well as his Zenith Bank account, 1002771899.

He, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Nnemeka Omewa, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.

The defence counsel, B.A. Ayeni, informed the court of a pending application for bail on behalf of his client.

However, in his response, the prosecution counsel, Omewa, opposed the bail application, saying that “he is a flight-risk who had plans to relocate with his entire family to the United States last year, if not for the timely response in arresting him by the EFCC.”

Omewa further informed the court that there was no document showing that the defendant’s son was critically ill to warrant him being flown abroad for treatment.

“My Lord, the defendant’s health is very much okay, as he was well fed in the EFCC custody,” the prosecution counsel added.

After listening to both parties, Justice Dada ruled that if the defendant’s son was truly ill and needed medical treatment abroad, the defendant should not be pleading with the court to allow him travel out with his entire family only to treat his son.

“I, therefore, conclude that the defendant is a flight-risk as put before the court by the prosecution.

“There is no guarantee of him coming back to Nigeria, if he had travelled out with his family, despite booking for return tickets,” Justice Dada held.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case till March 6, 26, 29 and April 16 and 27, 2018 for the commencement of trial and remanded the defendant in Kirikiri prison pending the hearing of his bail application.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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