Court sentences ex-FCMB Manager to 121 years in prison for N112m fraud

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The convict, Nwachukwu Placidus.

A former manager of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Onitsha branch, Nwachukwu Placidus, has been sentenced to a cumulative 121 years imprisonment for diverting fixed deposit funds of a customer to the tune of N112,100,000 (One Hundred and Twelve Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira only) to his personal use.

Delivering judgment on Friday, Justice S. N. Odili of the Anambra State High Court sitting in Onitsha, Anambra State, held that “the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt” and sentenced the convict accordingly.

Nwachukwu was earlier arraigned on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 on 16-count charges bordering on forgery, stealing, obtaining by false pretence and uttering, by the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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One of the counts reads: “That you, Nwachukwu Placidus, between February 2009 and November 2014 in Onitsha, Anambra State, within the jurisdiction of the Anambra State High Court of Nigeria with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of (N112,100,000) One Hundred and Twelve Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira only, from Idemili Microfinance Bank under the false pretence that you have placed the said money in a fixed deposit account with First City Monument Bank PLC for it, which pretence you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence”.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him, thus setting the stage for his trial.

In the course of trial, the EFCC, through its counsel, Mainforce Adaka Ekwu, presented four witnesses and tendered several relevant documents, which were admitted in evidence.

Justice Odili sentenced the convict to nine years imprisonment on count 3, 4 years on count 4 and 9 years on counts 5 to 16 respectively.

Ordered also held that the sentences shall run concurrently.

The Judge however discharged him on counts 1 and 2.

The court further ordered the convict to restitute the said sum to his victim, Idemili Microfinance Bank.

Nwachukwu’s ’journey to prison began when a petitioner , Idemili Microfinance Bank LTD, alleged that it handed over the sum of N112, 100,000 to him as the branch manager of FCMB in Onitsha, for a fixed deposit.

However, when the petitioner approached the bank to terminate and withdraw the deposit, the bank denied receiving the said funds.

Upon receipt of the petition, the EFCC swung into action and investigations revealed that the convict diverted the money to his own use and issued a fake fixed Deposit Certificate to the petitioner.

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