An auditor with United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ojo Oladimeji, has told the Federal High Court, Lagos, how suspected fraudsters hacked into the bank’s server and fraudulently withdrew the sum of N752 million from the account of the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, domiciled with the bank.
Oladimaji made this known while giving evidence in a criminal charge filed against one of the alleged hackers, Ola Lawal, a.k.a Lawal Roland, who is standing trial before the court on alleged fraud of N46 million fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The defendant was arraigned before Justice Chuka Obiozor alongside his company, DCAN Oil and Gas Limited on Monday, on two – count charge of fraudulent transfer of the sum of N46 million from the Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, number 1002792889 domiciled in United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc to the oil and gas account number 0036695765 domiciled in Union Bank Plc.
The offences he however, pleaded not guilty, when he was arraigned before the court on Monday.
At the resumed trial of the the defendant, Oladimeji, who is the first prosecution witness in the charge told the court that a total sum of N752 million belonging to Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, in his employer’s account (UBA) was Fraudulently transferred into 20 different account, which the defendant’s company’s account with Union Bank Plc, benefitted the sum of N46 million.
Oladimeji who was led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Mr. M. K. Hussain, said: “upon discovery that the sum of N752 million has been fraudulently transferred from from one of our customer’s account, Flour Mills Nigeria Limited, to 20 different accounts, which the defendant’s company’s account was a beneficiary.
“Flour Mills’ account was hacked between June 24 and July 3, 2019, and the total sum of N752 million was fraudulently transferred.
“The defendant’s account in Union Bank Plc received N46 million on July 3. We then wrote a letter to our lawyer, Akin Adesomoju, to assist us with a petition to the EFCC to assist in investigation, recovery, arrest and prosecution of the culprits, that was how the defendant was arrested and charged to court after the EFCC investigation”.
The witness during cross-examination by the defendant’s lawyer, Ademola Iroko, told the court that he did not knew who transferred the money and that was why the matter was reported to the EFCC and that the purpose of the transfer was unknown to him.
Oladimeji also told the court that he did not know the name of the Account Officer to Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, but said his bank has the record of how the money was transfered to 20 accounts, which the defendant’s company’s account was one of the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the defendant and his company have been admitted to bail by Justice Obiozor, in the sum of N50m each with one surety in like sum.
The judge also ordered that one of the sureties must be a landed property owner within Lagos State and in addition a level 15 officer, who must produced evidence of three years tax clearance with verifiable address and must submit their passport photograph to the Court’s registrar.
Justice Obiozor further ruled that the defendant should be remanded in Ikoyi prison pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
The matter has been adjourned till December 12, for continuation of trial.