A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, on Monday, sentenced a former Information Technology Manager at the Asaba branch of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Onus Amahian, to five years’ imprisonment for forgery and false entry.
Amahian was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 25 counts bordering on forgery and making false entry into the Delta State Government payroll.
Amahian, who was an IT officer with the bank, between August and October 2011, fraudulently inserted the names and account numbers of his family members and friends into the payroll of the state government being handled by the bank.
According to the EFCC, Amahian paid money into those accounts and withdrew the same, and in the process, defrauded the bank of the sum of N 9,344,019.23.
The EFCC, in a statement on Monday, said Amahian, who was first arraigned in 2011 and pleaded not guilty to the charges, on November 19, 2020, changed his plea to guilty and the court convicted him and adjourned till Monday for sentencing.
Delivering his judgment on Monday, Justice T. B. Adegoke, who held that a substantial amount of the money was recovered from the convict during the investigation and he had been in the correctional facility since 2011 and shown remorse for his actions, sentenced Amahian to five years’ imprisonment on each count.
He added that the sentence would run concurrently and commence from the date of arrest.
The charges read in part, “That you, Onus Osagie Amahian, between August and October 2011 at Access Bank branch, Asaba, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, did steal the sum of N9,344,013.23 only from the Delta State Government payroll (NEFT/DTSG/.TCO/ ACC) in Access Bank Plc, Asaba branch, thereby committing an offense punishable under Section 390(6) of the Criminal Act, Cap C38 of the Revised Edition, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2007.”
Similarly, a High Court in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, on Monday, sentenced a former banker, Adam Kaka Adam, to a one-year jail term for an N11.65m Automated Teller Machine fraud.
Adam was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Maiduguri zonal office, on one count of theft to the tune of N11,657,500.
Adam, a former service manager in charge of vault room and ATM at Unity Bank Plc, Damaturu branch, diverted the said sum, which was meant for the ATM.
The charge read, “That you, Adam Kaka Adam, while being the branch Service Manager with Unity Bank Plc, Damaturu, Yobe State, in charge of vault room and Automated Teller Machine, sometime in the year 2017 at Damaturu, Yobe State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court and in such capacity, dishonestly took the sum of N11,657,500 only, being the property of Unity Bank Plc, without its consent and with the intention of permanently depriving it of the said sum, thereby committing an offense contrary to and punishable under sections 286(1) and 287 of the Penal Code, Laws of Yobe State of Nigeria, respectively.”
A statement by the Head of Media, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, titled: ‘Court jails ex-banker for N11m ATM fraud’, indicated that Adam pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered several exhibits to prove the case against the defendant.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Jauro found him guilty of the offense as charged.
The convict, however, pleaded for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
Counsel for the defendant, Mukhtar Ahmed, informed the court that Adam had previously been convicted of criminal misappropriation by Justice Isa Hamman Dashen of the Federal High Court, Damaturu.
Justice Jauro consequently sentenced Adam to one-year imprisonment with an option of an N100,000 fine.
Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, on Monday, sentenced one Udeme Ekong to three years’ imprisonment for fraud.
Ekong was arraigned by the EFCC before Justice M. L. Abubakar on one count of obtaining N2,395,000 by false pretenses.
He pleaded guilty to the charge.
According to the EFCC, Ekong fraudulently collected the sum from the petitioner under the pretext of using the money to purchase Premium Motor Spirit from the Eleme Refinery, Port Harcourt, and both would share the profit from the sale and the capital returned to the petitioner afterward.
It was gathered that Ekong kept the proceeds from the sale of the product to himself and frustrated all efforts by the petitioner to recover his money.
Following the convict’s plea, the prosecuting counsel, R. E. Alao, tendered documents against him and urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly, while the defense counsel, E.H. Eboh, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the convict was a first-time offender and had fully returned the money to the petitioner.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Abubakar sentenced Ekong to three years’ imprisonment with an option of an N250,000 fine.
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