Two staff of the Ogba, Lagos branch of Sterling Bank Plc, James Oke, 28 and Moyosore Shofowora, 27 have been arrested and arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate Court for allegedly withdrawing the sum of N25,466,330 from the internal control accounts of the bank without authorization and converted the money to their personal use.
The bankers were arrested on the order of the DPO in charge of Lion Building Division, CSP Folashade Tanaruno following a complaint by the management of Sterling Bank through its Chief Security Officer, Mr. Okodugha Sunday Evaristus.
The accused were arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate Court, Lagos on a two-count charge of felony to wit, stealing.
Prosecuting counsel Abbass Abayomi informed the Court that the accused persons committed the alleged offense between 22 September 2016 and 28 July 2017 during working hours at Sterling Bank Plc, Ogba Branch, Lagos.
Abayomi told the Court that the first accused, James Oke after withdrawing the sum of N9,377,000 from the account of the bank, he used part of the money to procure travelling documents and ticket to escape to the United States of America, but was arrested inside a US-bound aircraft at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos before the plane could take off following a tip-off.
The police recovered the sum of USD2,150 from James Oke at the airport during a search.
Abayomi said that the second accused, Shofowora stole N16,060,000 from the account of the bank and used part of the money to purchase a Toyota Camry Car valued at N2.5m and confessed that he used the balance to gamble.
The offenses the accused committed were punishable under sections 411 and 287 (7) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the crime and the Chief Magistrate, B.A Sonuga granted them bail in the sum of N5m each with two sureties each in Like sum.
Sonuga directed that one of the sureties must be a Bank Manager with Sterling Bank and the other must be a Bank Manager with Wema Bank Ple who must also own landed properties in Lagos.
Sonuga directed that the two surrties must deposit the sum of N1m each in the Court registrar account and adjourned the case till 14 November.
The magistrate ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos till they were able to fulfill the bail conditions.