Three bank workers who conspired among themselves to steal N1.2 million belonging to the Federal Government’s Home Grown School Feeding Programme were on Wednesday, April 8, arraigned before a court in Sokoto State, News Hub Mag! reports
The three staff of an old generation bank, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, Michael Alabi and Ngozi Agbonjari, were brought before Justice Muhammed Muhammed of the Sokoto State High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a four-count charge bordering on forgery and conspiracy to steal the sum of N1.205 million
According to a statement by the spokesman of the EFCC, Tony Orilade, the three staff members of one of the branches of the bank in Sokoto State conspired among themselves to issue Automated Teller Machine cards to an impostor in the name of bonafide customers of the bank which was used to withdraw the said money for their personal use.
The money was stolen from the accounts meant for the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria for primary school pupils across the 23 local government areas of the state, the EFCC said.
One of the charges against them reads: “That you, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, while being the Direct Sales Agent of Union Bank Plc, Michael Alabi, while being the Sales Service Executive of Union Bank Plc, Ngozi Agbonjaru, while being the Bank teller of an old generation bank, Aisha Sambo and Sa’adatu Musa (now at large) sometimes in 2019 at Sokoto did conspire among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: Theft from the Union Bank Plc accounts of Fadima Ahmadu and Sadiya Bello and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 59 of the Sokoto state Panel Code Law 2019 and punishable under Section 60(2) of the same Law.”
They pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them and in view of their plea, counsel for the EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, asked for a date for trial to commence.
Responding, the defence counsel, G.O. Uwadia, prayed the court to grant his clients bail on the grounds that the defendants were faithful to the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC, and that they also had credible sureties.
Justice Muhammed, thereafter, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each, with one surety each in like sum. The surety must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned till April 23 for commencement of trial.