Three employees of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and two staff of Zenith bank, were on Thursday remanded in Agodi prison, Ibadan for defrauding the apex bank and Zenith bank, a total sum of N1,970,568,300.00k( One Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred Naira only). They were remanded in prison consequent on their arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on a 14-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
KOLAWOLE BABALOLA, OLANIRAN MUNIRU ADEOLA, TOOGUN KAYODE PHILIP ( all CBN Staff), AJUWON BOLADE, SAMUEL OGBEIDE (both Zenith Bank Staff), were docked before Justice A. O Faji.
The bankers were alleged to have defrauded the CBN and Zenith Bank Plc respectively. Specifically, the apex bank employees were alleged to have compromised the CBN's Briquetting exercise, by stealing huge sums of mutilated higher denomination Naira currencies meant to be exchanged for new notes. The other bankers allegedly acted as accomplices to the crime and also helped themselves to a sizeable chunk of the money.
When the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.
Count one of the charge reads:
“That you KOLAWOLE BABALOLA, OLANIRAN MUNIRU ADEOLA, TOOGUN KAYODE PHILIP, ONABANJO OLUWAMAYOWA (now at large), AJUNWA BOLADE, SAMUEL OGBEIDE and TIJANI OLUSOGA (now at large) between 2011 and 2012 in Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: inducing the Central Bank of Nigeria to deliver property to Zenith Bank Plc, to wit: an aggregate sum of N1, 060, 000, 000 .00 (One Billion, Sixty Million Naira) as against the actual sum of N159, 431, 700 (One Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Four Hundred and Thirty One Thousand, Seven Hundred Naira) on the false pretence that the 106 boxes containing supposed mutilated currencies which were taken to the Ibadan branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria contained a total sum of N1, 060, 000, 000 .00 (One Billion, Sixty Million Naira) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
In view of their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), prayed the court for a trial date and that the accused be remanded in prison custody.
However, counsel to the 4 accused person, Dare Adebayo said he had filed an application for bail before the court and served the prosecution with copies of the application. All other defense counsels told the court that they had also done same.
Justice Faji, however, adjourned the matter to June 12, 2015 for hearing of bail applications. He also ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Agodi prison, Ibadan.
Head, Media & Publicity
4th June, 2015