Ex-Jaiz Bank Staff Sentenced over N33m fraud

A former cash officer of Jaiz Bank Plc, Samaru branch Zaria, Kaduna State, Alfa Ibrahim, has been sentenced by Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, sitting in Kaduna, to four months in prison with an option of N300,000 for dishonestly diverting the sum of N33,810,000 (Thirty Three Million, Eight Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) only belonging to the bank.

Alfa’s road to jail began when the Kaduna Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, received a petition by Jaiz Bank Plc against him.

It was alleged that Alfa converted the said sum to his personal use, which was meant to be “loaded” into the bank’s Automated Teller Machine, ATM.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Alfa Ibrahim, while being the Automated Teller Machine, ATM officer with Jaiz Bank Plc, sometime in December 2017 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did dishonesty take the sum of N 33,810,000.00 (Thirty Three Million Eight Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) being the property of Jaiz Bank without its consent and with the intention of permanently depriving it of the said amount and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 270 of the Penal Code Law Kaduna State, 2017 and punishable under Section 271 of the same Law.”

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He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge against him.

At the resumed hearing today, prosecuting counsel, E.K. Garba told the court that he had filed an amended charge against the defendant based on a plea bargain agreement dated April 30, 2019.

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The defendant, thereafter, pleaded “guilty” to the amended one-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC. Garba then prayed the court to sentence him accordingly.

Counsel to the defendant pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as he was a first offender.

In sentencing him, Justice Khobo considered the plea bargain agreement and convicted him, accordingly.

The trial judge held that: “The defendant is hereby sentenced to a fine of N300,000 or an option of imprisonment of four months. The defendant should pay the sum of N1.5million to the victim as restitution within one year, failure to pay within the stipulated period he shall be imprisonment for another one year.”

He is also to forfeit a landed property located at Ungwan Mu’azu in Kaduna Metropolis, which was recovered by the prosecution. He has already paid the Bank the sum of N24,410,000.00 (Twenty-Four Million Four Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira).

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