Bank drags staff Chukwudi to court over alleged N7.3m fraud

By Paul Iyoghojie

The Management of LETSHEGO Microfinance Bank PLC, Lagos has dragged its Public Relations Officer, James Egeonu Chukwudi, 32, before a Lagos Magistrate’s Court for allegedly conniving with others still at large to fraudulently withdrew the sum of N7,305,751 from its account and converted the money to his use and escaped.

Police alleged that the defendant allegedly perpetrated the fraud by obtaining ATM Cards for some customers of the bank to withdraw money for him from their accounts and in the process stole the sum of N7,305,751 from his employer’s account.

Police further alleged that following the incident, the Management of the bank petitioned the Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP in charge of Area ‘A’ Command, Lion Building, Lagos Island, ACP Oluseye Odumbaku who directed his crack team led by Inspector Odiyeye Toluwalashe to fish out the defendant anywhere he might be hiding.

The Police team, after days of intelligence gathering, tracked the defendant to a hideout in Lagos and arrested him.

Chukwudi was charged before the Ikoyi Prison’s Magistrate’s Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on a two-count bordering on conspiracy and stealing.

Police Prosecuting Counsel, James Okwosu told the Court in the charge marked Z/15/2022 that the defendant committed the offence on 27 September, 2021 at LETSHEGO Microfinance Bank PLC located at Bookshop House, Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos.

Okwosu informed the Court that the defendant betrayed the trust reposed on him by his employer and used his position as the Public Relations Officer of the bank to steal the sum of N7,305,751 from the account of his employer and escaped before he was arrested.

He said the offences the defendant committed were punishable under sessions 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and his Counsel, Anayo Agbo prayed the Court to grant the defendant bail in the most liberal terms, adding that the defendant was still innocent of the allegations levelled against him by the Police until it is proved otherwise.

The Presiding Magistrate, B. M. Amore granted him N1m bail with two sureties in like sum.

Amore adjourned the case till 17 June, 2022 for mention and ordered that the defendant be detained at the Ikoyi correctional facility till he perfected the bail conditions.

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