By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Federal High Court, Lagos, has convicted a man, Jules Suinner, for defrauding Access Bank PLC of the sum of N25 million.
Justice Chuka Obiozor who pronounced the man convicted, after founding him guilty of all six counts charge of conspiracy, fraudulent impersonation, being in possession of proceeds of illicit funds and internet fraud.
The convict was said to have sometimes in 2015, defrauded the Access Bank PLC by hacking using the email address and letterhead of a company named Greenview Development Nigeria Limited and used same to write a letter to the bank to transfer the sum of N25 million, into the account of ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society domiciled with United Bank For Africa, UBA.
Upon transferring the said N25 million, the convict was said to had transferred the money into his account domiciled in United Bank of Africa (UBA) and other individuals banks accounts.
Pronouncing the convict guilty as charged on all counts of the charge, Justice Obiozor said all the defence put up by the defendant is contradictory and cannot set him free from the allegations.
Justice Obiozor also held that the prosecution has successfully and sufficiently proved all the counts of the charge against the convicts.
“I’m satisfied that the story given by the defendant is a huge hoax. The prosecution has successfully proved the burden on it to established the case of conspiracy and other allegations as contained in the charge against the defendant. The story by the defendant is empty.
“Consequently, the defendant is hereby found guilty of all the counts and hereby convicted”.
Upon the pronouncement of the defendant guilty as charged, his counsel, Mr. Tochukwu Onyuike, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Tochukwu told the court that his client is a first time offender without record of previous conviction. Adding that he has been remorseful during his 18 months in detention before perfecting the bail conditions granted him by the court.
He also told the court that the convict is married with kids who solely depend on him for their survival. Adding that if given another opportunity, he has vowed not to engage in such act again.
He also pleaded with the court to consider the 18 months his client spent in detention and give him lesser terms.
Responding, the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs. Oluwakemi Yemi-Makinde, who stood-in for Ekene Iheneacho, confirmed that the convict did not have previous record of conviction as her agency (EFCC) is concerns.
However, after the submissions of parties, the judge asked Oluwakemi for terms prescribed by the EFCC Act on each count, she replied by asking the court for a day to enable her furnish the court with the request.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor, djourned till next week Friday, for the pronouncement of convict’s jail terms.
The EFCC had on Monday, September 5, 2016 first arraigned the convict before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same Court on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence to the tune of N37 (Thirty-Seven Million Naira).
He was however rearraigned before Justice Obiozor sometimes in October, 2017, on amended charge of six count of defrauding the bank of N25 million.
To perfect the illicit act, the convict and other members of his team said to be at large, were said to have hacked the email address and letterhead of a company named Greenview Development Nigeria Limited and used same to write a letter to Access Bank Plc to transfer the sum of N25, 000,000 (Twenty Five Million Naira) to the account of ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society domiciled with United Bank For Africa, UBA.
The money was allegedly transferred on July 14, 2015.
The convict and others now at large, were said to have on July 22, 2015, allegedly wrote a letter to the Access Bank to transfer of the sum of N12, 000,000 (Twelve Million Naira)| to the account of one Tee-EM Nigeria Limited domiciled with UBA.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Jules Suinner, on or about the 13th day of July 2015, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to obtain money under false pretence, conspired with ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society (still at large) and others (still at large) to fraudulently impersonate officials of Greenview Development Nigeria Limited”.
The convict pleaded not guilty to all the charge, which gave way for his trial.
During the trial, the EFCC called three witnesses who include: Victor Adewale, a banker, Adeoti Gabriel, an official of the company used in defrauding the bank and Edith Ephraim, an investigator with the EFCC.
EFCC also tendered several documents admitted as exhibits A to O4. While the convict was sole defence witness.