By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
An Ekiti State High Court has convicted a former cashier with Fidelity Bank, Ado branch, Mr. Michael Adedayo Ihinolurinjon and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment for fraud of N16,142,000.00.
Handing down the verdict yesterday, Justice Abiodun Adesodun jailed the convict for stealing money from the bank’s vault and for diverting customers’ deposits for personal use.
Ihinolurinjon was on Friday August 16, 2019, found guilty on a two-count charge of stealing and conspiracy filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibadan zonal office.
The offence, according to the charge sheet, was contrary to Section 390 (g) of the Criminal Code Laws Cap 16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
Following suspicion about financial sharp practices, the bank had written a petition to the EFCC alleging that while still a staff, Ihinolurinjon stole N8,891,000 from its vault, and also failed to remit a N7,251,600 he collected from customers to the bank’s account.
“Our preliminary review showed that Michael fraudulently diverted the sums of N8,891,000 and N7,251,600.00 of the branch vault and customers’ cash respectively. The cash deposit of N7,251,600 received by Michael from various customers between 1/9/16 and 19/9/16 were neither posted to their respective accounts nor the cash accounted for,” the bank stated in its petitioned dated October 17, 2016.
The bank also accused Ihinolurinjon of absconding from duty ‘upon sighting one of the customers whose cash he had fraudulently diverted’.
Following the petition, the commission went into investigation after which the accused was originally charged with obtaining through false pretence in a one-count charge filed in 2017.
The charge was later amended to a two-count, bordering on stealing, upon which he was re-arraigned on June 24, 2019.
While prosecuting the case, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Abdulresheed Lanre Suleman, called nine witnesses and also tendered several exhibits.
After listening to arguments on both sides, Justice Adesodun found the defendant guilty as charged, and sentenced him to five years imprisonment on each of the two counts. The sentencing, he held, would run concurrently.
The court, however, gave the convict an option of fine of N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) on each of the counts. He was also ordered to pay a sum of Seven Million Naira as restitution to Fidelity Bank Plc, being the petitioner in the case.