One of Nigeria’s financial institutions, Sterling Bank Plc, is in the news again for the wrong reasons. This time, a customer of the Abubakar Suleiman-led Sterling Bank has again lost over N2.4 million to a fraudulent official of the bank.
The staff, one Ebenezer Alonge, a cashier with Sterling Bank’s Ado-Ekiti branch, alongside his wife, Isakunle Oyinlola and his mother-in-law, Isakunle Moradeke, have been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for allegedly diverting N2.4m deposited by a customer.
One of the Count Charge preferred against reads: That you Ebenezer Adeolu Alonge ‘M’ , Isakunle Olamide Oyinlola ‘F’ and Isakunle Eunice Moradeke ‘F’ between the month of January 2017 and March 2017, at the premises of Sterling Bank PLC Ado-Ekiti branch, did steal the sum of N2,400,800.00 (Two Million, Four Hundred Thousand and Eight Hundred Naira) only property of Sterling Bank, by diverting same to the personal account of Isakunle Olamide Oyinlola with account number, 0047750660 and the personal account of Isakunle Eunice Moradeke with account number 0064222881, all with the Sterling Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, being money for Ekiti State Primary and Secondary Education Development levy, and thereby committed an offence”.
The defendants, however, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges preferred against them
According to a statement by the EFCC acting spokesman, Tony Orilade in Abuja, it was alleged that sometime in February, Sterling Bank received a complaint bordering on financial impropriety involving N62,400 belonging to a customer.
“The incident was investigated and another sum of N2,400,800 belonging to a customer was found to have been diverted by Alonge to his wife’s account.
“Further investigation revealed that there was a turnover of over N21m deposit from other customers in Alonge’s wife’s account.
“Other sums were reportedly traced to his mother-in-law’s account,” said EFCC.
Justice Ogunmoye, however, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2m and two sureties in like sum, one of whom must be a government official not below grade level 12, while the other surety must be resident within court’s jurisdiction.
The case was subsequently adjourned to February 5, 2019 for hearing.