Access bank office

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, has heard how Access bank online payment platform was used by a former director to defraud the company

The former financial director of A&P Foods Limited, Mr Fidelis Umuokoro had allegedly defrauded the company to the tune of about two hundred million naira using the Access bank online payment platform.

TheConscience reports that the defendant was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 6 count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and stealing contrary to section 411,363 and 285 (1)(a) and punishable under s365 and s287 of the criminal law of Lagos state, 2011

This online newspaper gathers that the Commission said that Umuokoro committed the alleged offences between July 2016 and July 2019, using Access Bank online platform, before his dismissal in July 2020 as a result of allegations of stealing among other sundry offences.

Access bank office

During the arraignments he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, T.J Banjo, the prosecuting witness who is the Company Secretary, Mr Chukwueme Ijei told the court how he discovered the fraud, and raised alarm to the management.

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Mr. Ijei said while following up with rental payment of staff’s quarters, a notice came from the Treasury department of the company that payment was made through the company’s account dedicated solely for online banking transaction, which he was not aware of as one of the signatories to the account.

He thereafter, explained that the company had six accounts domiciled in Access, Zenith, FCMB, Standard Chattered, Diamond and UBA bank.

According to him, the Access, Zenith, FCMB, and Standard Chattered account’s are dedicated for online transactions while the defunct Diamond Bank and UBA are meant for cheque transactions.

Upon inquiry into the payment of the staff quarter, he discovered that the payment was made through the company’s account domicile in defunct Diamond Bank which is in violation of the company policies.

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The development which led him to send an Email to the defendant who was then Financial Director, for explanation, and copied the Human Resources Director as well as the MD of Sub Sahara Africa.

In his response, the defendant explained that the payment was made through the Remita platforms which was instituted by the company for the purpose of payroll, in clear violation of the company policies.

He further said that both himself, H.R director were signatories to the Remita platforms pointing out that he failed to explain why he unilaterally made payment without the consent of other signatories in line with company policies.

According to the witness, since previous M.D could not resolve the issue before his exit, he decided to beam searchlight into the Remita platform which was being managed by the first defendant and his team in the financial department


Consequently, the witness alleged to have found out that payment in huge sum of money were been paid to companies that are not on the company vendors database which was confirmed by one Mr Folusho Ajayi a procurement manager.

He also told the court how he found document in the office of the first defendant with names of companies that were not on the companies database and the signature of the defendant

“I saw a letter written to FCMB from Raremax Global Investment Limited, shockingly this was signed by Mr Fidelis Umuokoro as the M.D of the company

The witness stated that he was able to connect the company as one of the companies he had identified in the Remitta platforms which huge sum of money was paid to that were not on the company vendors list.

The witness said that his findings in relations to Raremax and another company called Konkritek company controlled by the defendant over alleged stolen funds from the company was referred to auditors.

He further said the auditor upon further investigation also found out another company created by the first defendant to allegedly carry out fraudulent activities called Palm services Nigeria Limited.

During cross examination by the defense counsel, Mr. Rasaki Okesiji, the witness informed the court that the internal investigation was concluded around April or May 2020 after which the first defendant was dismissed by the company.

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When asked if the defendant has made effort to pay back the money allegedly stolen to the company, the witness mentioned that the EFFC made mention of a bank draft brought by the defendant since the matter have started.

Justice Mojisola Dada, thereafter adjourned the matter till 17th and 18th November for continuation of trial.