Ex-banker charged to court over N6.8m theft

Lagos Magistrate Court

A 38-year-old ex-banker, Chidi Idems, who allegedly obtained N6.8 million from a customer under false pretences, on Wednesday appeared before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

Idems, a resident of Abule-Egba area of Lagos, pleaded not guilty to a five -count charge of conspiracy, stealing, obtaining under false pretences, forgery and presumption as to false pretences under certain circumstances.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Mike Unah, told the court that the accused committed the offences on June 2, 2016 at Agidingbi area of Ikeja.

Unah alleged that the accused, with others now at large, fraudulently obtained N6.8 million from one Olabisi Shittu on the pretext of assisting her to transfer the money to her customer in China.

He said that the complainant, who had no idea that Idems had been sacked at the bank, transferred N6.8 million to him.

Unah said that the accused converted the money to his own personal use and forged a telex transfer form showing that he had paid the money to the complainant’s customer.

The prosecutor said that Idems gave the forged document to Shittu, who had no idea it was fake.

Unah said that Shittu did not know she had been duped until she received a call from her customer in China, who claimed he had not received the money.

“Shittu quickly rushed to the bank to report the accused to the head of operations, only to discover that Idems had been sacked from the bank months ago for another offence.

“The complainant said that when she called the accused on phone to demand for her money, he started making up flimsy excuses.

“She said that after so much persistence on her part, Idems gave her a Zenith bank cheque of N6.8 million.

“Shittu said that when she presented the cheque at the bank it was dishonoured due to insufficient funds in the accused’s account.

“The complainant reported the case to the police and the accused was apprehended and taken to the police station for further questioning, ”Unah said.

The offences contravened Sections 285, 312, 319, 363 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused risks a 15-year jail term on conviction for obtaining by false pretences, according to the provisions of the Criminal Law.

The Magistrate, Mrs A.O Gbajumo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties in like sum. She adjourned the case until July 12 for mention.

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