An ex-banker with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Andrea Chizoba Okpalangwu has been sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for fraud by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
Justice Ibrahim Nasir Buba convicted Okpalangwu of stealing the bank’s N146, 633.000.00.
The judge sentenced her to seven years on each of a four-count charge of stealing filed against her by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), Ikoyi, Lagos.
The jail terms are to run concurrently, the judge said, meaning Okpalangwu will spend a maximum of only seven years imprisonment.
“The convict is hereby ordered to restitute to FCMB the sum of N146, 633,000.00 fraudulently obtained from the bank,” Justice Buba said.
Okpalangwu was arraigned in November 2012 on a three-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
The SFU amended the charge and, on February 2, 2018, re-arraigned her on four counts of conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretence, in a charge marked FHC/L/241c/13.
Prosecution counsel Chukwu Agwu, a Superintendent of Police, told the court that Okpalangwu committed the offence while in the bank’s employment.
He said she conspired with Bizmate Nigeria Ltd and members of its staff to defraud her bank of the sum.
Her other conspirators, the court heard, were: Zulikah Zoni Anwail, Olakunle Wakajaiye, Blessing Gbajide, Alicia Onwukah, Ose Ekiosola. Uche Okolie, Olusegun Oladlmeji, who were said to be at large.
The court also heard that Okpalangwu and her conspirators’ forged bank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards of Guaranty Trust Bank, identity cards, passports and cheque books, with which she opened a bank account numbered: 0779808013 with FCMB, for Bizmate, which was used to fraudulently obtain a credit facility valued at N146, 633 million.
Agwu said the bank discovered the fraud and petitioned the police.
The offences, the prosecutor added, were contrary to and punishable under Sections 1 and 8 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and Section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, 2004.