Three CBN Employees, Two Sterling Bank Staff Remanded In Prison Over N2bn Fraud

Three employees of the Central Bank of Nigeria and two staff of Sterling Bank of Nigeria, were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody after their arraignment before Justice N. Ayo Emmanuel of a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State for defrauding the apex bank and two other banks a total sum of N1, 141,303,300( One Billion, One Hundred and Forty One Million, Three Hundred and Three Thousand, Three Hundred Naira only).

The suspects: Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Toogun Kayode Philips- all former staff of the CBN and Salami Ibrahim and Oddiah Emmanuel, both staff of Sterling Bank Plc, were arraigned on an eleven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

Specifically, the bankers were alleged to have defrauded their banks various sums of money totaling N1, 141,303,300 using various guises and pretenses.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you KOLAWOLE BABALOLA, OLANIRAN MUNIRU ADEOLA, TOOGUN KAYODE PHILIP, SALAMIN IBRAHIM, ODDIAH EMMANUEL, ROY AKINSHIKU (now at large) and SOBOWALE O. (now at large) between 2009 and 2011 in Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: inducing the Central Bank of Nigeria to deliver property to the Sterling Bank of Nigeria Plc/Equatorial Trust Bank , to wit: an aggregate sum of N610, 000 000.00 (Six Hundred and Ten Million Naira) as against the actual sum of N98, 696, 700 (Ninety Eight Million, Six Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand, Seven Hundred Naira) on the false pretence that the 62 boxes containing supposed mutilated currencies which were taken to the Ibadan branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, contained a total sum of N610, 000 000.00 (Six Hundred and Ten Million Naira) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

Another count reads: That you Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Toogun Kayode Philip, Salamin Ibrahim, Oddiah Emmanuel, Roy Akinshiku (now at large) and SOBOWALE O. (now at large) between 2009 and 2011 in Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court being employees of banks, owned asset to wit: the sum of N511, 303, 300 (Five Hundred and Eleven Million, Three Hundred and Three Thousand, Three Hundred Naira) which you shared amongst yourselves being money forwarded by the Sterling Bank of Nigeria Plc to the Central Bank of Nigeria as mutilated currencies and which sum was in excess of your legitimate, known and provable income and assets and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 7 (2) of the Bank Employees etc, (Declaration of Assets) Act, CAP.B1, Laws of the Federation, Nigeria, 2004”.

When the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.

In view of their plea, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacob, SAN, prayed the court for a trial date and the remand of the defendants in prison custody.

However, counsel to the 1st accused, O. Bolanle, speaking for all the other counsel, applied for short adjournment to enable them bring formal applications for bail before the court.

Justice Ayo Emmanuel adjourned the matter to June 9, 2015 for hearing of the bail applications and July 6 and 7, 2015 for trial.

He ordered that the defendants be remanded in Agodi prison custody, Ibadan.

In a related charge before the same court, Babalola, Adeola and Toogun Kayode Philips and Tope Akintade, both staff of Ecobank Plc were docked on a 15-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing to the tune of N910,210,100.00k( Nine Hundred And Ten Million, Two Hundred And Ten Thousand, One Hundred Naira only),

The bankers were alleged to have defrauded the CBN and Ecobank Plc respectively of a total sum of N910,210,100.00k( Nine Hundred and Ten Million, Two Hundred and Ten Thousand, One Hundred Naira only), being money fraudulently stolen, shared among themselves in illicit banking operations and entries. One of them: Tope Akintade was also alleged to have acquired assets worth millions of Naira, which are beyond her remuneration as a banker

When the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.

Count one of the charge reads:

“That you Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Toogun Kayode Philip, Tope Akintade and John Paul (now at large) between 2011 and 2012 in Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: inducing the Central Bank of Nigeria to deliver property to Eco bank Plc, to wit: an aggregate sum of N490, 000, 000 .00 (Four Hundred and Ninety Million Naira) as against the actual sum of N79, 789, 900. 00 (Seventy Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred Naira) on the false pretence that the 49 boxes containing supposed mutilated N1,000 notes which were taken to the Ibadan branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria contained a total sum of N490, 000, 000 .00 (Four Hundred and Ninety Million Naira) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

Justice Ayo Emmanuel adjourned the matter to June 9, 2015 for hearing the bail applications and July, 2 and 3, 2015 for trial.

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