Former banker jailed over N970,000 fraud


The Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo has sentenced an ex-banker, Ebe Okokon, to six months’ imprisonment but with an option of N600,000 for fraud involving N970,000.

A statement by the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, stated on Friday that the trial judge, Archibong Archibong, handed down the verdict on Thursday.

The sentence was said to have followed a plea bargain the convict reached with the EFCC.

Mr Okokon, who was accused of defrauding his victim using a forged document of his former bank, therefore pleaded guilty to three counts of stealing and forgery.

“Since the offence of stealing and forgery are both morally and legally reprehensible, I believe that a punishment for you here, will serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to be or behave like you,” the judge was quoted as saying

The judge then sentenced him to six months imprisonment on each count to run concurrently, from the date of arrest.

He was given the option of a fine of N200, 000 on each count totalling N600,000 for the three counts.

Fraud

EFCC said Mr Okokon perpetrated the fraud after he was sacked by the “old generation bank” but used the forged document of the bank to scam the victim.

He was said to have “tricked one Effiong A. Asuquo into paying him N970, 000 for a fake ‘Life Insurance Scheme’ policy which he promised would earn the policy holder interest at maturity in one year.”

The commission said the victim invested in the scheme in 2018 and was issued a forged copy of the scheme’s form by the convict.

She was expecting to receive credit alert of her accrued interest by June 13, 2019 but she got nothing.

“Exasperated, she rushed to the branch of the bank where the convict claimed he worked, only to be told that he had been sacked and that the form of the scheme used by the convict were forged,” the EFCC statement added.

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The commission also stated that the convict confessed to the crime when he was arrested on January 31, 2020.

He was subsequently arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on stealing and forgery, to which he pleaded “guilty”.

Plea

The statement added, “In view of his plea, Segun Akinrinlade, counsel to the EFCC reviewed the facts of the case and tendered various documents which the Court admitted in evidence and marked exhibits ‘A’ to ‘I’.

“The documents include: the petition dated July 29, 2019; the bank statement of the complainant dated August 21, 2019, and Certificate of Identification; response Letter from First Bank of Nigeria, Certificate of Identification and Account Statements of the convict.

“Other documents are: the convict’s statement dated January 31, 2020, as well as the response letter from First Bank Insurance dated July 14, 2020.”

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