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Two ex- First bank workers stole N41.5m from cooperative – Witness



A witness, Chris Owai, on Wednesday, told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how two former workers of First Bank, Stella Oyeluyi and Noel Benjamin, allegedly falsified the account number of Chevron Multipurpose Cooperative and stole N41.5m.

Owai, who is the Head of Internal Audit at First Bank, said the first defendant, a former business manager attached to the Chevron Branch of First Bank at Lekki, recalled the investment of Chevron Multipurpose Cooperative to pay money to another bank customer without their consent.

The defendants are standing trial alongside Graham Ehigiator, the Managing Director of Bvee International Limited, on three counts of conspiracy to commit felony, fraudulent false accounting, and stealing. The witness, while being led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr Babatunde Sonoiki, told the court that on March 28, 2019, Chevron Multipurpose Cooperative called in its investment from First Bank Quest Asset Management, which was a subsidiary of the bank that handled facility above N10m.

“At the time they called in their investment, the new business manager of the branch was the first defendant. The audit department discovered a shortfall to the tune of N84m when the investment was called,” the witness said.

According to the prosecution, the alleged offences contravened sections 278, 335(a) and 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011. Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case till December 9 for continuation of trial.

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