JUST IN: Lawyer’s absence stalls banker’s ‘N2. 4m fraud’ trial

An Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos Tuesday adjourned till April 2 the trial of an ex Wema Bank employee, Kazeem Olawuwo, accused of stealing N2.4 million from several of the bank’s customers’ accounts.  

Magistrate T. A. Idowu fixed the date following the absence of defence counsel.
Olawuwo, 37, was arraigned on January 31 alongside his female friend, Risikatu Wahab, 35, on a 12-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing. 

When the case came up Tuesday, Miss Idowu observed that the defendants had no legal representation. 

She told the defendants to ensure they got a counsel before the next adjournment.
At their arraignment, Prosecuting Sergeant Friday Mameh alleged that the defendants committed the offences between October 2016 and April 2018, at Wema Bank Plc, Orile Iganmu branch, Lagos.

He said Olawuwo abused his position as a staff of the bank by fraudulently transferring N2.4m to different accounts. 

According to the prosecutor, the monies were moved in tranches from different customers’ accounts to Olawuwo’s friends’ bank accounts. 

The court heard that the second defendant, Wahab, was one of Olawuwo’s friends who received the monies despite knowledge that the transaction was fraudulent.
Olawuwo allegedly fraudulently transferred N500, 000 to Wahab from a customer’s 0222111335 account no. 

The prosecutor said Olawuwo transferred a total of N1.9 million to one Kazeem Olanrewaju, who is still at large, adding that the transfer to Olarewaju was done in five tranches.
He told the court that the money was the property of Wema Bank. 

The offences, according to Mameh, contravened Sections 287 (7), 365 (1) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.  

The defendants pleaded not guilty. 

Magistrate Onamusi granted each defendant N1 million bail with two sureties in the like sum, among other conditions. 

Olawuwo was also subsequently arraigned on a separate one-count charge of fraud.
Mameh said Olawuwo committed this alleged offence on March 2, 2018, at Wema Bank.

He said Olawuwo fraudulently transferred N300, 000 to one Wasiu Bakare still at large, in contravention of Section 287 (7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Mameh said the money belonged to Wema Bank Plc. 

Olawuwo pleaded not guilty. 

Magistrate Onamusi granted him N200, 000 bail with two sureties in the like sum.
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