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EFCC arrests 4 Sterling Bank staff for squandering customers money

Sterling Bank Plc may have turned into a safe haven for fraudulent officials as customers of the bank have continued to lose their hard-earned money to the bank.

This is coming even as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested and arraigned four staffers of the bank over various financial crimes within a week.

Osazuwa Obarisiagbon, a 39-year-old staff of the bank, Effurun branch, has been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court over alleged fraudulent withdrawal of N46.4 million from a customer’s account.

Osazuwa, a Relationship Manager with the lender, was arraigned last Friday on six-count charge bordering on alleged stealing, defrauding, forgery and impersonation.

Some of the charges in charge number: ME/77C/ 2021 read thus: “That you Osazuwa Obarisiagbon between December 31, 2015 and November 30, 2016, at Effurun within this magisterial district, did commit felony to wit: stealing. You hereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the criminal code, Cap C. 21, Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That you Osazuwa Obarisiagbon between December 31, 2015, and November 30, 2016, at Effurun, within this magisterial district, did fraudulently convert to your own use or the use of other persons, the sum of N46, 422, 432.64, property of Wellington Hotel Limited. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (8) (b) & (9) of the Criminal Code, Cap C.21, Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That you Osazuwa Obarisiagbon between the 31st day of December 31, 2015, and November 30, 2016, at Effurun, within this magisterial district, did conspire to commit felony to wit: forgery. You thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C 21. Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Osazuwa Obarisiagbon, between December 31, 2015, and November 30, 2016, at Effurun, within this magisterial district, did conspire to commit felony to wit: personation. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C. 21, Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That you Osazuwa Obarisiagbon, between December 31, 2015, and November 30, 2016, at Effurun, within this magisterial district did with the intent to defraud Wellington Hotel Limited, falsely represented yourself to be the general manager, chief accountant and cashier respectively of Wellington Hotel Limited. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code, Cap C.21, Vol. 1 Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges

However, the defence counsel, Sanchez Agumor, sought bail for the accused who he said would not jump bail by his position as the relationship manager of Sterling Bank.

The prosecutor, Vincent Orawumen, did not oppose the bail application, but sought stringent conditions to be attached to the bail.

Chief Magistrate, Ena Odjugo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N15 million with two sureties who must have property within the magisterial district.

Odjugo adjourned the trial to August 4 and 5, 2021.

Similarly, the Lagos Zonal Office of the EFCC, has also arrested three staffers with the bank for an alleged case of conspiracy, stealing, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.

The suspects, Kagha Emmanuel Uchenna, Okoro Chinasom Davidson and Egbogu Emmanuel Obiora, who are employees of one of the new generation banks, allegedly conspired and defrauded a customer of the bank of the sum of N51, 978, 883. 37 (Fifty-one Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy-eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-three Naira, Thirty-seven Kobo.)

Investigations revealed that the trio forged the signature and National Identification Management (NIM) number slip of the customer, activated his mobile banking application and fraudulently withdrew the money.

The suspects, who were arrested on July 7, 2021 at the Nsukka, Enugu branch of the bank, have volunteered statements and will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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