A former employee of Access Bank Nigeria Plc Nnaemeka Onyegbule, is standing trial at the Ebute Meta Magistrate’s court for allegedly stealing $200,000 (about N32m) out of the $1m being transferred by the bank’s bullion van from Abuja to Lagos.
Onyegbule, who was until his dismissal the bullion service team leader, was said to have taken the money from the Ladoke Akintola branch of the bank in Abuja.
He was said to have boarded a Lagos-bound plane with the money.
The Access Bank Internal Auditor, Mr. Boniface Egege, in his evidence before the court, said the accused told the bank he realised $200,000 was missing on his arrival in Lagos.
He said, “On July 17, 2012, around 12.30 in the afternoon, we got a call from one of our unit heads that the defendant (Onyegbule) ,who was supposed to bring $1m from Abuja to Lagos, has just called to report that $200,000 was missing.
He said the money had earlier been carried by the defendant’s assistant, and Onyegbule confirmed that the money was indeed complete before leaving Abuja.
He said, “After confirming that it was complete, he put it in a box and locked it, then carried it into the bullion van and headed to the airport.
“He left in company with about four armed police men who provided security against external attack.
“The bullion van was opened by the Cash-in-transit officer named Dave Adore, and he took the box out of the bullion van himself to the lounge for departure, still escorted by policemen.
“Twenty minutes later, Onyegbule informed his immediate staff that the plane was about to move and immediately, we contacted the Lagos branch to make arrangement for security service upon the arrival of the box in Lagos.
“Upon arrival in Lagos, the defendant claimed that while in the plane, he saw someone that walked past him to where he placed the box, and he didn’t do anything, and when the plane landed, he picked up the box, opened it and discovered that $200,000 had been taken from the bag.”
Egege said the management of the bank quickly referred the matter to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba and the defendant was subsequently arrested and arraigned.
The magistrate, Mr. T. Abolarinwa, adjourned the matter till August 2 for further hearing.
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