A 56-year-old banker, Adekunle Oyeobu has been sentenced to two and half years in jail for granting unauthorized loans to three customers totalling N34.6 million.
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital handed down the ruling on Friday after finding the accused, who was a bank manager at the Aba branch of the now defunct Cooperative Development Bank, guilty of three of the six charges brought against him.
While delivering judgement in the case instituted in 2001, the trial judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, held that the defendant breached the law when he issued N12.5m, 12.9m and N2.2m without authorisation from the bank.
The judge declared that the accused would serve a two-and-half-year jail term for each of the three counts he (Oyeobu) was found guilty of. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Justice Faji also ordered the convict to return the sum of N7.6m to the NDIC within six months from the day the order was given.
In his submission before the court earlier, Oyeobu’s counsel, Dada Mayokun, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in its ruling, considering the diligence of the defendant in the matter.
Mayokun said: “The court should temper justice with mercy in view of the fact that there is no evidence before the court showing that the defendant benefitted from the loans. Besides, he is an old man with health challenges; he is due for an operation and he is also has a heart problem.
“The defendant has been diligent in this matter; he didn’t jump bail. Also, considering the manner in which the defendant has conducted himself before the court, please, let the court temper justice with mercy and let him serve his sentence in Abuja close to his family.”
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