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Five Fidelity Bank Officers Caught Stealing From The Dead!

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The Uyo zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a group of bankers who allegedly forge customers’ signatures to execute fraudulent transactions including unauthorised debits.

According to a statement signed by Tony Orilade, EFCC’s acting head of media and publicity, the bankers also carry out transactions on the accounts of deceased customers.

The suspects were named as Mbong Essien, Akwa Akwa, Precious John, Kenneth Udoetuk and Ubong Udom.

They were arraigned before Archibong Archibong of the Akwa Ibom state high court on Monday, March 2, on a 23-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery, obtaining by false pretence and criminal conversion of depositors’ funds amounting to N37,690,000.

The management of Fidelity Bank, Abak Road branch in Uyo and 72 bank customers were said to have alerted the EFCC of suspicious withdrawals in a petition dated December 9, 2019.

“An investigation by the EFCC revealed that Mbong used his position as the head, operations and transaction service and delivery, established a criminal syndicate that specialized in perpetrating the fraudulent transactions and deductions,” the EFCC said.

“Further investigations also showed that without the authorization or knowledge of the management of the bank, the defendants managed a fictitious fixed deposit account with interest accruing to it.”

One of the charges reads: “Mbong Emmanuel Essien ‘M’, Ubong Godwin Udom ‘M’ and Akwa Ephraim Akwa ‘M’ being staff of Fidelity Bank Plc, Abak Road Branch, sometime in June 2019 at Uyo within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did steal the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten million naira) only, from the Fidelity Bank account of Arit Jeremiah Eshiet, which proceeds you fraudulently converted to your personal use and thereby committed an offence”.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The suspects

In view of their pleas, Nwandu Ukoha, EFCC’s counsel, requested for a trial date and that the defendants to be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The matter was thereafter adjourned to June 1, 2, and 3, 2020, for hearing, while the defendants were remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, pending the hearing of their bail applications.

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