Two former bankers bag 2 years imprisonment for N25m fraud

Justice Adama Iyami- Lamikanra of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State on Monday,  convicted  a former Manager of Diamond Bank Plc (now Access Bank), Chinyere Oti and a former Account Officer of the same bank, Odigboh Okechukwu, to two years imprisonment for defrauding the bank of the sum of N25,018,467.00k.  

A statement by the Spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren said the convicts were arraigned on November 19, 2009 by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the commission on seven count charges bordering on conspiracy and stealing.  The charges were amended on April 25,  2019. 

Count four reads:  “Odigboh Okechukwu and Chinyere Oti on or about the  23rd day of October, 2008 at Diamond Bank Plc  Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division did fraudulently steal the sum of  Twenty Million Four Hundred And Thirty One Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Two Naira Five Kobo (N20,431,342.05)  property of Diamond Bank Plc by means of Diamond Bank Cheque No. 16216303 through an unfunded account in the name of Achufa Investment Limited operated by Odigboh Okechukwu and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 381(1) and punishable under Section 390( 9) of the Criminal Code CAP 37  Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999” .

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Their pleas led to a 10 year- long trial. 

The prosecution called three witnesses and tendered 15 exhibits while the defence called three witnesses. 

Delivering his judgment today, Justice Iyayi- Lamikanra found  the two defendants guilty of the charges and sentenced them to two years imprisonment  each or an option of fine of N1,000,000 each. 

She also ordered the convicts to pay a sum of N25, 000,000.00) as restitution to Diamond Access Bank Plc.