The police in Lagos have arrested a suspected fraudster, Happy Eguakun, and an official of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Hillary Ejechi, for allegedly attempting to divert a project fund of the Obanliku Local Government Area, Cross River State.
It was learnt that the fund was deposited into account number 0339007306 domiciled in the bank, with Obanliku Local Government Project as the account name.
Although the exact amount in the account was not disclosed by the police, our correspondent learnt it was millions of naira.
The PUNCH gathered that the council had earlier alerted the Cross River Police Command after receiving a tip-off on an imminent fraud on the account.
The command was said to have sent a signal, including details of the suspect to its Lagos State counterpart in respect of the complaint lodged by the council.
The police said Eguakun, a Computer Science graduate, had reportedly forged a document and went to the Ecobank branch at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State, on the pretext that he worked with the council and was a signatory to the account.
Our correspondent gathered that the 42-year-old indigene of Delta State had sometime in July met with his accomplice, 27-year-old Ejechi at the branch to perfect the fraud.
In the process, a police team from the Ikoyi division, led by one Sergeant Damian Ojuinyi, stormed the bank and arrested the duo.
The suspects, who reportedly planned the fraud with other persons at large, were subsequently brought before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on five counts bordering on forgery and impersonation.
The charges, according to the police, contravene sections 409, 363 (1) (a), 378 (1) and 323 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The counts read in part, “That you, Happy Eguakun, Hillary Ejechi and others at large, in July 2016, at Ecobank Plc, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: impersonation, forgery and unlawful possession.
“That you, Happy Eguakun and others at large, on July 2016 in the same place, at the aforementioned magisterial district, did present a forged Lagos State Management Authority Bill with property code 62614 to Ecobank, TBS branch, on the pretext to modify account number 0339007306 domiciled in Ecobank.
“That you, Happy Eguakun and Hillary Ejechi and others at large, on the same date and place, did conspire among yourselves with intent to defraud account number 0339007306 with the name: Obanliku Local Government Project, domiciled in Ecobank Plc, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 323 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges before the presiding magistrate, Mrs. O.M. Ajayi.
The magistrate granted them bail in the sum of N250,000 each with two sureties each in like sum, adding that the sureties must present evidence of tax payments and their residential addresses to the court for verification.
The case was adjourned till August 16, 2016.
Culled from www.punchng.com
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