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Promoting Good Governance.

How Fidelity Bank employee illicitly diverted client’s N137m in 31 months

FOR 31 months, Kehinde Olumide Agbabiaka, a sales agent with Fidelity Bank Plc illicitly and intermittently diverted N137 million belonging to his client, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has revealed.

Specifically, Agbabiaka committed the crime between January 2017 and July 2019, until his client (name witheld) decided to review his statement of account in reconciliation with his cash register and the fictitious deposit slips raised by the bank’s employee.

According to Ibadan Zonal Office of the EFCC, the suspect, who was the account officer attached to the customer, had been visiting the business premises of the victim weekly to collect cash with the understanding that he would remit same to his accounts domiciled in the bank’s Challenge, Ibadan branch.

However, rather than depositing the money, Agbabiaka, who already had been arrested by the anti-graft agency, at different times remitted only a portion and “on many occasions diverted the whole sum to personal use”.

A statement by the Commission,  explained that the accused was later arrested following a petition jointly written by the bank’s Regional Security Officer and the Cluster Control and Compliance Manager, regarding the incident.

“…it was alleged that the suspect suppressed, diverted and stole a total sum of N137,000,000 (One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million Naira) from personal and corporate accounts of a customer in Ibadan.

“Filed on August 20, 2019, the petition alleged that Agbabiaka committed the offence between January 2017 and July 2019,” the statement read.

The EFCC further revealed that in order to cover his criminal acts, the accused had to issue ‘fictitious bank slips’ to deceive the customer that he truly deposited the sums.

It noted that everything appeared good until the account reconciliation and subsequent discovery of Agbabiaka’s fraudulent deeds, prompting the bank to put up the petition.

“So far, the EFCC investigators have established a prima facie case of diversion and stealing against the suspect.”

“Further investigations also revealed that he had used the suppressed sums to build houses, purchase cars, invest in fixed deposits and insurance policies,” the statement read.

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