The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal Office, on Wednesday, arraigned Zaharaddeen Ibrahim, Micheal Alabi and Ngozi Agbonjari over alleged forgery and conspiracy to steal N1.2m.
The trio were made to appear before Justice Muhammed Muhammed of the Sokoto State High Court.
DAILY POST gathered that the suspects were staff of one of the branches of Union Bank Plc in Sokoto State.
EFCC acting spokesman, Tony Orilade in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja explained that the bank staff allegedly conspired among themselves to issue Automated Teller Machine, ATM cards to an impostor in the name of bonafide customers of the bank which was used to withdraw the said sum of money for their personal use.
Further Orilade said, “The money was stolen from the accounts meant for the Home Grown School Feeding Program, HGSFP initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria for primary school pupils spread across the 23 local government areas of the state”.
Count one reads: “That you, Zaharaddeen Ibrahim while being the Direct Sales Agent of Union Bank Plc, Michael Alabi, while being the Sales Service Executive of Union Bank Plc, Ngozi Agbonjaru, while being the Bank teller of Union Bank Plc, Aisha Sambo and Sa’adatu Musa (now at large) sometimes in 2019 at Sokoto within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice of Sokoto State, did conspire among yourselves to do an illegal act to wit: Theft from the Union Bank Plc accounts of Fatima Ahmadu and Sadiya Bello and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 59 of the Sokoto state Penal Code Law 2019 and punishable under Section 60(2) of the same Law.”
But the suspects reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On that basis, counsel for the EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad asked for a date for commencement of trial.
In reaction, the defense counsel, G.O. Uwadia prayed the court to grant his clients bail on the grounds that the defendants were faithful to the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC, and that they also had credible sureties.
In his ruling, Justice Muhammed granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000.00 each, with one surety each in like sum.
He added that the surety must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to April 23, for the commencement of trial.