Jaiz Bank ATM Custodian in Trouble for N33.8b Fraud
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A branch Automated Teller Machine (ATM) officer with Jaiz Bank, Mr Alfa Ibrahim, has been arraigned before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court.
The suspect was taken to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on January 9, 2019 on a one-count charge bordering on dishonesty to the tune of N33.8 million.
The money was said to belong to Jaiz Bank and was meant to be “loaded” into the bank’s ATM, but allegedly converted by the accused person to his personal use.
“That you, Alfa Ibrahim, while being Automated Teller Machine officer with Ja’iz Bank Plc, sometime in December 2017 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did dishonesty take the sum of N33,810,000 being the property of Ja’iz Bank without its consent and with intent of permanently depriving it of the said amount, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 270 of the Penal Code Law Kaduna State, 2017 and punishable under Section 271 of the same Law,” the count read.
However, when this charge was read to the suspect, he pleaded “not guilty” and the prosecuting counsel, Mr Esmond Garba, thereafter, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial, and to remand the defendant in prison custody.
Defence counsel, Kaile Yusuf, however, asked the court to grant his client bail, arguing that Mr Ibrahim was on administrative bail by the EFCC and “he did not violate the bail conditions”.
While adjourning to February 14, 2019 Justice Khobo granted him bail in the sum of N10 million, and one surety in like sum who must be a resident within Kaduna metropolis.
Similarly, Muhammad Nalami was also arraigned before Justice Khobo on a two-count charge bordering on “conspiracy, breach of trust and fraud” to the tune of N17 million belonging to Niroy Nigeria Limited.
Nalami was alleged to have connived with Hafeez Adamu (currently at large), and collected N17, 054,000 from the company, for the supply of grains, but he failed to deliver on the goods. Efforts to get a refund also proved abortive.
Count two reads: “That you Muhammed Nalami and Hafeez Ya’u Adamu sometime in June 2017 in Kaduna within the Kaduna Judicial Division of the High Court did dishonestly misappropriate or convert to your own use the sum of N17, 045,000 property of Niroy Nigeria Limited meant for purchase of three trucks and 990 bags of white sorghum grains, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 293 of the Penal Code Law Kaduna State, and punishable under Section 294 of the same Law”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecuting counsel, Esmond Garba urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked the court to remand him in prison custody.
Defence counsel, Y.Y. Mai’adashi made an oral application for the bail of his client. The application was, however, opposed by the prosecution.
Justice Khobo, thereafter, adjourned to February 14, 2019 for “commencement of trial” and ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody pending perfection of bail application.
In a related development, Abubakar Liman Ibrahim and his company, Infaq Global Investment Limited, were also on January 9, 2019 arraigned before the trial judge on a four-count charge bordering on false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of over N27, 000, 000 (Twenty Seven Million Naira).
Abubakar was alleged by Alkasim Rilwanu, to have defrauded him in N46, 551,000 business deal, in which he was to supply baking flour, oil and bags of rice.
Rilwanu alleged that after supplying the goods, he was paid N11.5 million and another N7,470,000 leaving a balance of over N27 million. However, Abubakar issued four separate Zenith Bank cheques for the balance, which were returned unpaid by the bank. Efforts to get back the money proved abortive.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecuting counsel, Esmond Garba, thereafter, asked the court to fix a date for commencement of trial while praying the accused be remanded in prison custody pending trial.
Counsel for the defence, Y.Y. Gwazawa, moved the motion for bail dated January 7, 2019, which was served on the prosecution on January 8, 2019.
Garba, however, raised objection to the application on the “basis of the magnitude of the offence”.
Justice Khobo, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N5 million and one surety in like sum who must be a resident within Kaduna metropolis, and adjourned to February 11, 2019 for “hearing”.