EFCC Arraigns Ex-Sterling Bank Manager for N187m Fraud

…as Magu tasks politicians on good governance

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, arraigned a former acting branch manager of Sterling Bank Plc, Oliver Anidiobi, before Justice C.O. Ajah of the state’s High Court, sitting in Enugu, for a N187 million fraud.

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 Commission 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 (One Hundred and Eighty Seven Million Naira) 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 (Sixty Five Million Naira).

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”.

Justice Ajah, after listening to both counsels adjourned the matter to June 7, 2019 for hearing of the bail application and ordered that he should be remanded in prison.

Magu Tasks Politicians on Good Governance

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has urged political office holders to be mindful of their campaign promises upon which they were elected to office, and be ready to deliver on them.

Magu spoke during the opening session of a two-day workshop on “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” organised by the Dispute Resolution Center of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Abuja.

In a paper titled “ADR as an Option for Government Contracts Dispute Resolution,” presented on his behalf by an officer of the Commission, Dr. Enakeno Oju, the EFCC boss noted that with the campaigns, politicking and elections over, it was now time for political office holders to get down to work.

 “In the course of political campaigns as we witnessed in the just concluded general elections, there were many developmental promises made by public office aspirants. Now that the elections are over, what Nigerians expect is good governance. It is time to deliver on the promises made. These promises are actualized through various contracts.”

Magu further stated that government does not execute contracts by itself, but leaves that to the private sector for the development of the country.

The Actng Chairman, therefore stressed the need for due diligence, transparency and accountability in the procurement process under the public Procurement Act, enforced by the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP.

According to Magu, “When projects are halted, the people suffer and the development of the nations is retarded. This is why the issue of ADR  in government contract is of great need.”

Other participants at the event include: Justice Adamu Jauro of the Court of Appeal; Prince Adetokumbo Kayode, president, Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (ACCI); Chief Emeka J.P Obegolu, second deputy president, ACCI; representatives of BPP, and representatives of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abuja branch.

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