“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Monday 3rd August 2015, arraigned one Bawa Momodu before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on a 16-count charge bordering on forgery, uttering and stealing to the tune of N27million. The petitioner, Sterling bank Plc, alleged that Momodu, a former staff of the bank, stole about N27m from the account of one of its customers. The accused allegedly forged the signature of the said account holder, and fraudulently withdrew the monies from the bank.”
Investigations further revealed that the said amount was transferred to the Sterling Bank account of one Emilia Ugwandu, who is now at large, in a bid to hide the source of the stolen funds. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him
One of the counts reads, “that you Bawa Momodu, male, on or before the 17th day of December, 2012 in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court did present to officials of Sterling Bank Plc a forged Sterling Bank Fund Transfer document No. 1238802 in favor of Don Kumy Ventures Nigeria Limited, with the intent that Sterling Bank Plc may act upon it as genuine and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Revised Edition, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act”.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, A. Olatunji asked for a date for the commencement of trial. However, the defence counsel, K. Allen Nwogwama prayed the court to grant his client bail. Justice Ekwo granted the accused person bail in the sum of Seven Million Naira (N7, 000,000.00), and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a responsible member of the society with landed property worth the bail sum, to be verified by the court registrar and the prosecution. The accused person is also to be reporting at the EFCC on the last day of every month.
In a related development, Justice Ekwo has ordered the remand of one Festus Agadi in prison custody till September 23, 2015, when his application for bail would be considered. Agadi was docked by the EFCC August 3, on a one count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N1,700,000.00 (One Million Seven Hundred Thousand Naira). He pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. The accused, an employee of Petra Services Limited, is alleged to have defrauded the company to the tune of N1, 700,000.00 (One Million Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) only on the pretext that the money was the cost price of a used Caterpillar Excavator Engine he has secured for the company.
The charge reads, “that you, Festus Agadi Orji on or about the 21st day May, 2015 at Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc, Artillery Branch, Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of N1, 700.000.00 (One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) from Petra Services Limited which was paid into Black Duke Global Services Ltimited’s First Bank Account No. 2026661557 under the false pretence that the said sum of money was the purchase price of one (1) used Caterpillar Excavator Engine from Ibadan which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.