Barely one month after two officials of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) were arraigned for allegedly stealing N40.5million from customers accounts, another staff was again arraigned today over the theft of N124million from a depositor’s account.
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Ibadan Zone, today arraigned one Adejare Sonde before Justice A. A. Akinyemi of the State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on a 12-count charge bordering on stealing, forgery and uttering.
Sonde was accused of using his position as the account officer to a micro-finance bank to steal N124million from the customer’s account.
The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
On January 19, two former FCMB officials, identified as Walter Ekomaye and Ebenezer Adelowo, were also arraigned for allegedly making illegal withdrawal of N23million from customers’ accounts and stealing N17.5million from Automated Teller Machine (ATM) deposits.
Following Sonde’s plea today, prosecution counsel, Cosmos Ugwu prayed the Court for a trial date and urged the Court to remand the defendant in prison custody.
The counsel to the defendant, E. E. Jacob, however, informed the Court of a bail application already filed. He thereafter prayed the Court to allow the defendant remain in EFCC’s custody pending the hearing of the bail application.
Justice Akinyemi granted Jacob’s prayer and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC’s custody pending hearing of bail application.
The case is adjourned till Friday, February 16, 2018, for trial and hearing of bail application.
NewsmakersNG learnt that FCMB has been exposing suspected criminals within its system in a bid to send them to where they truly belong.
Sonde was arraigned following a petition from a Regional Compliance Head and Compliance Officer of the bank, alleging that the defendant whilst still a staff of the bank and also an account officer of a micro-finance bank suppressed and diverted the sum of N124million that was property of the Micro-finance Bank.
The petitioner explained that Sonde, as account officer of the customer, allegedly collected cash from the micro-finance bank on several occasions totaling N124million which were not credited into the customer’s account. Further investigations revealed that the defendant allegedly doctored emails which he sent to the micro-finance bank as monthly statements of account, while there was no remittance in the account.
One of the charges reads: Adejare Sonde, between March 2015 and February 2017 whilst a staff of FCMB PLC and the account officer of UNAAB Micro-finance Bank Ltd Account No: 0725813014 domiciled at the UNAAB main campus branch of FUMB, Abeokuta, within the Abeokuta Judicial Division, stole the sum of N54, 000,000 only property of UNAAB Micro-finance Bank Ltd.
Another charge reads: Adejare Sonde, on or about the 1st of July, 2016 whilst a staff of FCMB PLC and the account officer of UNAAB Micro-finance Bank Ltd Account No: 0725813014 domiciled at the UNAAB main campus branch of FCMB, Abeokuta, within the Abeokuta Judicial Division, stole the sum of N40,002,100 only property of UNAAB Micro-finance Bank Ltd.