A cashier at the First Bank of Nigeria has been sentenced to four years in prison for allegedly stealing millions from a customer's account.
The Nation reports that Anibolu was found guilty at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court sitting in Lagos State by Chief Magistrate, A. O. Awogboro, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
Before sentencing, the accused’s counsel, Philips Onyeama, had pleaded for a sentence with a fine or a lenient sentence as he was a first-time offender and his family’s bread winner but Magistrate Awogboro overlooked the plea and gave him the time with no option of a fine.
Onyeama had pleaded with the court:
“He’s a first-time offender; he has no father, only a sick mother who relies on him to survive. He has been in custody since March 24, 2014, and has suffered emotional and physical torture. He is also now more sober and refined.”
The 26-year-old Anibolu was first arraigned on April 3, 2014, by the Lion Building Police Division on the offenses which are contrary to Sections 409 and 285(8) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
During the trial, the police prosecutor, SP Chidi Okoye said the defendant, a resident of 15, Baale Street, Agboroko Iba in Ojo area of the state, had committed the offences while he was working at the Alaba 2 branch of the bank in Ojo.
SP Okoye stated that Anibolu who was on annual vacation, allegedly came to the bank premises under the pretext that he wanted to help a customer to post his land use charges and fraudulently converted the money to his use.
“He fraudulently changed a customer’s identity and mandate card which enabled him to debit the said account of the sum N9, 308, 000 and transferred it into various accounts.”
Okoye narrated that a forensic auditor attached to the bank, Solomon Akhanolu, was able to link the fraud to Anibolu through the password he used to change the customer’s identity and mandate card.
In his confessional statement, the convict had reportedly admitted to the theft, saying his accomplices who are still at large, promised him N4 million as his share of the fraud, but they disappeared with the money and gave him nothing.
“I have been working with the bank as a teller since 2011 but on the day of the incident, I used the passwords of my colleagues with the help of “F” Key logger given to me by my friend called Afeez who is now at large.
The logger helps link a customer’s identification with another that has online banking, which enables cash to be transferred successfully from one account to another.
My regret now is that I was supposed to get N4 million as my share but the receivers of the money have since disappeared. I regret my action,” he had allegedly told the police.
Though Anibolu disowned the statement in court saying he was forced to make it at the station while he was detained, handcuffed, flogged and his legs chained, the court ruled during a trial within a trial that there was no evidence of coercion and the prosecution’s testimony was credible.