Story by Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
The Managing Director of Integrated Microfinance Bank Limited, Simon Ademola Akinteye, has been sentenced to 32 years imprisonment over $166 million fraud, by a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The court presided over by Justice Cecilia Mojisola Olatoregun, sentenced the banker to the jail term, after his lawyer, A. O. Sherrif, had pleaded with the judge to tamper justice with mercy in its judgement.
Justice Olatoregun had on February 4, convicted Akinteye of the eight counts charge leveled against him by the office of Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federal Ministry of Justice., she however, acquitted and discharged his deputy, Gabriel Adepoju, who was accused of withdrawing a total sum of N22.250 million from the bank and diverted same to a limited liability company, Gad Press Limited.
Sentencing the banker today, Justice Olatoregun said: “I have listened to the alocutors. The convict misplace the trust reposed in him by depositors of the Microfinance bank.
“Others must be deterred from throwing caution into the wind when saddled with the position of trust, particularly, in handling people’s money or assets”.
Consequently, the judge sentenced the banker into four years jail term on each of the counts.
Justice Olatoregun, however, gave the convict a fine of N2 million on each of the counts.
The judge ordered that while the terms of sentence will run concurrently, the option of fine are to be cumulative.
The DPP in a charged marked FHC/L/234c/16, alleged that the two Bank Chiefs recklessly, without collateral approved credit facilities running into $166 million USD, and N33.250 million to themselves and one Mrs. Temitope Muhammed Imam.
In the charge, the convict, Akinteye, who was said to have at different time withdrew from the bank’s account the total sum of N11 million and diverted it into his personal company account named ‘Deblad Nigeria Limited’.
He was also said to have unlawfully withdrew total sum of $166 million USD, and paid same into the said the account of Temitope Muhammed Imam, domiciled with Citi Bank N. A. of Utica/Clarkson, 702, Utica Avenue, Brooklyn New York, United State of America; and another account domiciled with Washington Mutual, 391, Eastern Parkway, Belford Avenue, New York, USA.
While the second defendant, Adepoju, was alleged to have withdraw total sum of N22.250 million, and diverted same to a limited liability company, Gad Press Limited.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Ndidi Glady Ezinwa-Ukuba (Mrs.), are contrary to under sections 18 (1)(a) and 18(3) and 15(1)(a)(I) Banks and other financial Institution Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 18(2) and 16(1)(a) of the same Act.
Prior to the arraignment of the defendants on May 18, 2016, their lawyer, A. O. Sheriff, through a notice of Preliminary Objection, urged court to dismiss the charge on the ground that the defendants had earlier been acquitted and discharged by Justice Okon Abang of the same court, when they were formerly arraigned.
But the presiding judge, Justice Olatoregun, had dismissed the defendants’ lawyers application on the ground that the facts of the charge are not the same.