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Court jails banker for stealing N700,000 from customer

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kano Zonal Office, on Thursday, secured the conviction of one Anochima Chidozie Christopher, a banker with Fidelity Bank Plc.

The convict bagged one-year prison term before Justice Farouk Lawan of the Kano State High Court for stealing from the bank customer’s account.

According to a statement on Thursday by the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the Kano Zonal Office of the commission had arraigned the convict today on two-count charges, bordering on cheating and theft to the tune of N700,000.00 to which he pleaded guilty.

The suspect, a marketer with the bank’s Kofar Ruwa Branch and an account officer to the complainant had invited the complainant to the bank and showed him a withdrawal slip of N300,000.00, which he (account officer) had completed and was only waiting for the complainant to authorize him to withdraw it from his account, pretending that he was in dire need of the money and would pay the customer back, the next day.

Instead of getting the N300,000 back, what the customer got was an additional debit alert of N400,000.00 (from his account, the following week.

Upon confronting Christopher, he made the bank customer yet another promise to pay the money back, but never did and all his efforts to recover the money have been in vain.

Count one of the charge reads: ”That you Anochima Chidozie Christopher on 7th May, 2019 at Kano within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kano State, did fraudulently induce one Anayo Anaezionwu to consent that you retain the sum of N300,000.00 and thereby you committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of the Penal Code Law and punishable under Section 322 of the same Law.”

The accused person pleaded guilty to the charges against him. In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Salihu Sani urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

The defense counsel J.I Macaulay, however, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant was a first-time offender, who has deeply regretted his action and restituted the money.

Justice Lawan convicted the defendant and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment on each count charge with N30,000 option of fine for each of the counts. The sentences run concurrently.

 

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