BusinessCrime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

Standard Chartered Bank swindled of N723.6m

By Francis IWUCHUKWU

The Standard Chartered Bank has been swindled of a whopping sum of N723, 660, 867. 47 million.

The fraud was alleged to have been committed by its staff, Jeffrey Akhimien alongside Segun Samuel Ogunjimi and a Limited Liability Company, Greaterheights Technologies Limited.

It would be recalled that the financial institution had dragged them before the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) for investigation and prosecution.

In turn, the PSFU had since filed a charge against the duo before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, over alleged conspiracy obtaining by false pretence, fraud and illegal and unlawful funds conversion.

Jeffrey Akhimien, who worked with the Aromire Ikeja Lagos’ Branch of the Bank, was accused of conspiring with Segun Samuel Ogunjimi, his company, Greaterheights Technologies Limited and one Lucky Sargin, to swindle the Bank of a total sum of N723, 660, 867. 47 million.

The defendants were alleged to have committed the offence between January and December 2020.

Specifically, the first defendant, Jeffrey Akhimien, was alleged to have singlehandedly converted to his own use and benefit, the sum of N175 million, while he and others were alleged to have jointly defrauded the Bank of the sum of N548, 660, 867.47 million.

The Bank’s staff, Jeffrey Akhimien was alleged to have falsely presented to the Bank, that all members of staff of Greaterheights Technologies Limited, needed loans from the Bank and that the said staff authorized him to approach the Bank and negotiated for the loans on their behalf and that their salaries and Grade Levels qualified them for the loans and that their loans advanced was meant to assist them solve their individual financial needs and that they had the means, ability and capacity to pay back the loans as at when due.

The offence, according to the prosecutor, Henry Obiaze, are contrary to Section 8(a), 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006, but punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

He also told the court that the offence contravened Sections 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as mended in 2012.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

This prompted the prosecutor to ask for trial date and as well urged the court to remand the defendants till the determination of the charge.

But their counsel told the court of his clients’ bail appllication, which was argued.

Ruling on the counsel submissions on the bail appllications, Justice Peter Lifu, acceded to the defendants’ request, and granted each of them bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

Justice Lifu also ordered that one of the sureties must be blood relation to the defendants, while the other must be a Civil Servant in Federal or Lagos State employment and not below Grade Level 12.

The judge, while adjourning the matter till May 26 for trial, ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

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