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Court Jails Former Bank Staff Over N2.5M Theft From Customer



A former staff of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Emeka Okafor, has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment for forgery and altering of documents to steal N2.5m in a fixed deposit of one of the bank’s customers identified as Donatus Ogbonna.

According to the case filed against Okafor in court by EFCC, he reportedly committed the crimes while functioning as a Relationship Officer at FCMB, as the anti-graft agency revealed that the banker forged and altered documents to divert money meant for a fixed deposit investment by his victim.

Unfortunately, the customer who happens to be the victim discovered the fraud when he visited the bank to access his investment and was not only told that the convict no longer worked with the bank, but his investment did not pass through the bank channels and all the documents signed did not emanate from the bank.

To these offences, Okafor was arraigned on two-count charges bordering on forgery and altering of documents by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, where he pleaded guilty to the two-count charges when they were read to him.

In view of his pleas, prosecution counsel, E. Abbiyesuku prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged, while the counsel to the defendant, Echozona Etiaba, SAN, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy stressing that Okafor is a first- time offender with no previous criminal records.

Justice Mohammed convicted and sentenced the defendant to one-year imprisonment, without any option of fine and the judge also ordered the convict, in agreement with the First City Monument Bank, FCMB, to restitute to the victim the sum of Four Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Five Naira (4,868,625.00).

Justice A. T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, convicted and sentenced Emeka Okafor, to one-year imprisonment, for forgery and uttering of documents.

One of the charges read, “That you Emeka Okafor sometime in December 2007 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while you were a staff of First City Monument Bank, with intent to defraud, did utter a forged document to wit: Re: N2,500,000.00 Investment in Bankers Acceptance dated 5/12/2007 to Donatus Ogbonna with the intent that, it may be acted upon as genuine which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence in line with Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same Act.”