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Nigeria: Court Jailed Ex-Banker 10 Years for Stealing Depositors’ Money

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A former cashier officer with Fidelity Bank, Ado branch, Ado Ekiti, Michael Adedayo Ihinolurinjon, was on Thursday convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison for stealing money from the bank’s vault and diverting customers’ deposits to personal use by Justice Abiodun Adesodun of Ekiti State High Court.

Ihinolurinjon was found guilty of a two-count charge of stealing in a criminal case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office.

According to his charge sheet, offence was contrary to Section 390 (g) of the Criminal Code Laws Cap 16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

His journey to prison started when his former bank wrote a petition to the EFCC alleging that while still a staffer, Ihinolurinjon stole the sum of N8,891,000 (Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-One Thousand Naira) from its vault, and also failed to remit a total of N7,251,600 (Seven Million, Two Hundred and Fifty-One, Six Hundred Naira) he collected from customers to the bank’s account.

“Our preliminary review showed that Michael fraudulently diverted the sums of N8,891,000 and N7,251,600.00 of the branch vault and customers’ cash respectively. The cash deposit of N7,251,600 received by Michael from various customers between 1/9/16 and 19/9/16 were neither posted to their respective accounts nor the cash accounted for,” the bank stated in its petitioned dated October 17, 2016”, the stated.

The bank also accused Ihinolurinjon of absconding from duty ‘upon sighting one of the customers whose cash he had fraudulently diverted’.

Following the petition, the Commission went into investigation after which the accused was originally charged with obtaining through false pretence in a one-count charge filed in 2017.

The charge was later amended to a two-count, bordering on stealing, upon which he was re-arraigned on June 24, 2019.

While prosecuting the case, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Abdulresheed Lanre Suleman, called nine witnesses and also tendered several exhibits.

After listening to arguments on both sides, Justice Adesodun found the defendant guilty as charged, and sentenced him to five years imprisonment on each of the two counts. The sentencing, he held, would run concurrently.

The court, during judgment however, gave the convict an option of fine of N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) on each of the counts. 

He was also ordered to pay a sum of Seven Million Naira as restitution to Fidelity Bank Plc, being the petitioner in the case.

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Crime

Rice Smuggling: Court orders interim freezing of 45 bank accounts

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A Federal High Court on Monday in Abuja ordered the temporary freezing of 45 bank accounts belonging to three companies allegedly involved in smuggling of rice into Nigeria.

The companies whose accounts were domiciled with ten commercial banks in Nigeria are Sun Sam A1 International Limited, Sun Sam International Limited and Sunchrist O. Trans Nigeria Limited.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed directed the Head offices of First Bank Nigeria PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Union Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank PLC, Sterling Bank, Access Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Polaris Bank and Eco Bank Nigeria to freeze forthwith all transactions from those accounts for 45 days.

Justice Mohammed said that this was pending the outcome of the investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Ruling on an ex-parte application on behalf of the apex bank by its counsel, Nosike Nicholas, to freeze the accounts for 90 days, the Judge granted the apex bank permission to freeze the accounts for only 45 days.

He said that the order of freezing for 45 days was subject to renewal for further days upon an application by the CBN, in the event that its investigation could not be concluded within the first 45 days.

Nosike anchored the application on section 60, Paragraph (B) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 1991 as amended.

He told the court that there was an ongoing investigation against the defendants who are customers of the commercial banks.

According to him, transactions under the accounts can cause significant financial loss to the rice industries in particular and the Nigeria economy in general.

The case was adjourned to Dec. 12 for further hearing.

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EFCC storms ‘Yahoo-Boys’ party, arrests 94 suspected internet fraudsters

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office on Monday, raided an Osogbo-based nightclub notorious for hosting parties for suspected internet fraudsters.

The raid led to the arrest of 94 suspects and confiscation of 19 exotic cars, laptops, scores of sophisticated mobile phones and other items.

Popularly known as ‘Club Secret Underground,’ the nightclub is located on the Ibadan-Iwo expressway of the Osun State capital.

The wee-hour operation was sequel to an intelligence report hinting that the suspected internet fraudsters were organising a night party for Sunday, October 13 during which some of them intended to celebrate their loots.

A discreet operation on the club had earlier been carried out to ascertain the authenticity of the intelligence, the confirmation of which led to the mega raid effected.

According to the anti-graft agency, the suspects are currently undergoing further interrogation, and would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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I rape minors to ease tension – 18-year-old rape suspect

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The Niger state police command has arrested and paraded a suspected rapist identified as Mizanbilu Yusuf, for defiling 6 minors in the state. 

Yusuf, 18, whose arrest came after he raped a 9-year-old girl confessed to raping other minors in Kafin Koro community in Paikoro Local Government Area of the state. The suspect further revealed that he started raping little girls in the community when he was 17 years old to ease tension. 

“I have been in the act and I enjoyed doing it,” he said as he begged for forgiveness from families of his victims. 

“I do it when I am aroused to have sex and since I do not have a girlfriend, I decided it would be easier to have carnal knowledge of minors in my area to cool off tension.

“It is quite unfortunate that I found myself in this hopeless act, I want to warn other teenagers to shun this wicked act. It may destroy their future.”

Speaking to newsmen on the arrest, Niger state police spokesperson, Muhammad Abubakar said the suspect who confessed to being a serial rapist will be charged to court after investigation has been concluded. 

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