Tuesday, April 21, 2015 5:19 pm
A 31-year-old man, Kehinde Lateef, was on Monday charged before a Tinubu Chief Magistrates’ Court on Lagos Island for allegedly stealing N53.6 million belonging to Sterling Bank.
Lateef, a former student of Lagos City Polytechnic, lives in Ikorodu.
He is facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing to which he has pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor, ASP Chidi Okoye, however, told the court that Lateef committed the offences alongside others who are now at large during working hours on Feb. 22, 2013 at Sterling Bank headquarters, Marina, Lagos.
He said the accused stole N53.6 million by making illegal transfers online through the bank’s NIBBS Instant Payment platform from the accounts of two customers of the bank.
“The accused was able to gain access to the bank’s system because he was a student on industrial attachment in the year 2013 at the time of the fraud.
“He made the illegal transactions to accounts domiciled in other banks.”
Okoye said immediately the management of the bank discovered the illegal transfers, the transactions were blocked.
“While N52.5 million was salvaged, N1.1million was already withdrawn by Lateef and his syndicate.
“After thorough investigations, Lateef was apprehended after two years,’’ he said.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravene Sections 285 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 285 recommends three years imprisonment for stealing.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs A.O. Awogboro, granted Lateef bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the case to May 6 for mention.