The police have accused an official of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Hillary Ejechi, and one Happy Eguakun of attempting to divert a project fund of Obanliku Local Government Area (LGA) of Cross River State.
The fund, whose amount was undisclosed, was deposited by the LGA in an Ecobank account number 0339007306 bearing the name Obanliku Local Government Project.
The suspects were arraigned before Mrs. O. M. Ajayi of an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on five counts bordering on forgery and impersonation.
According to the police, the charges contravene Sections, 409, 363 (1a), 378 (1) and 323 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Ejechi, 27, and Eguakun, 42, from Delta State but resident in Lagos, were alleged to have committed the offences along with others who are at large, sometime last month.
Computer science graduate Eguakun was alleged to have forged a document and gone to the bank’s branch at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, on the pretext that he worked with the council and was a signatory to the account.
Ejechi, who he met sometime in July, and who worked at the branch was reportedly waiting to receive him.
Unknown to them, the council had been tipped off of an imminent fraud on the account and had alerted the police which had men on standby.
The duo were subsequently arrested by the police team from the Ikoyi Division in Lagos led by Sergeant Damian Ojuinyi.
Three of the counts against them read: “That you, Happy Eguakun and Hillary Ejechi and others at large, in July 2016, at Eco Bank Plc, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: impersonation, forgery and unlawful possession.
“That you, Happy Eguakun and others at large, on July 2016 in the same place, at the aforementioned magisterial district, did present a forged Lagos State Management Authority Bill with property code 62614 to Eco Bank, TBS branch, on the pretext to modify account number 0339007306 domiciled in Eco Bank.
“That you, Happy Eguakun and Hillary Ejechi and others at large, on the same date and place, did conspire among yourselves with intent to defraud account number 0339007306 with name: Obanliku Local Government Project, domiciled in Eco Bank Plc., thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 323 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The defendants denied the charge.
Magistrate Ajayi granted them bail in the sum of N250, 000 each with two sureties each in the like sum who must present evidence of tax payment and have verifiable residential addresses.
The case was adjourned till August 16.