By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A former acting branch manager of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Oliver Anidiobi, has been remanded in prison pending hearing of his bail application fixed for June 7, 2019.
The accused person was arraigned on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Enugu Zonal Office before Justice C.O. Ajah of Enugu State High Court for a N187 million fraud.
Mr Anidiobi, who was also the Account Relationship Officer of OHHA Microfinance Bank, is facing a 32-count charge bordering on forgery and stealing from the microfinance bank.
Investigations by the EFCC revealed that he used his position to convince the microfinance bank to deposit the said amount with him with an accompanying letter of instruction (which he acknowledged) to Sterling Bank. He fixed the amount on behalf of the microfinance bank, only for him to forge a ‘Fixed Deposit Certificate’ as evidence of their investment.
He, thereafter, upon receipt of several instalments of the money totalling N187 million diverted the money to his personal use to build a two-storey building of five flats, several plots of land along Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway and an uncompleted four bedroom bungalow at Centenary Estate, Enugu. He also made an investment of over N65 million.
His journey to the dock began when OHHA Microfinance Bank decided to liquidate their two fixed deposits only to discover that there was no record of the transactions found in the system.
One of the counts against him reads: “Anidiobi Oliver Chukwuka, sometime between 15th day of August, 2014 and 28th day of August, 2014 in Enugu, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did commit a felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the aggregate sum of N5 million naira only, being property of OHHA Microfinance Bank Limited and thereby committed an offence.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
In view of the plea, the defence counsel, O.A.U. Onyema, informed the court that he had an application for the bail of the defendant, but the prosecuting counsel, Micheal Ani, told the court that “the defence just served me in court this morning some few minutes ago”.
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