Justice T. B. Adegoke of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State on Monday, November 30, sentenced Onus Osagie Amahian, a former staff of Access Bank, to five years imprisonment.
Amahian was prosecuted by the Benin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 25-count charge bordering on forgery and making false entry into Delta State government payroll.
Amahian, a former IT officer of Access Bank, was said to have between August and October 2011 fraudulently inserted names and account numbers of his family members and friends into the payroll schedule of Delta State government being handled by Access Bank and subsequently paid monies into those accounts and withdrew same and in the process defrauded the Bank of an aggregate sum of N9.3 million.
Amahian was first arraigned in 2011 and pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the 25-count charges preferred against him by the EFCC, setting the stage for full trial.
However, on November 19, 2020 Amahian changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’. This prompted the prosecuting counsel, F.O. Dibang to ask the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
Justice Adegoke convicted the former Access Bank staff on all counts but reserved sentencing till November 30.
In his judgment, Justice Adegoke took cognisance of the fact that a substantial amount of money was recovered from the defendant during investigation and that Amahian had been in Nigerian Correctional Centre since 2011 and has shown remorse for his actions.
He, therefore, sentenced the defendant to five years imprisonment on each of the counts. The sentences shall run concurrently and shall commence from the date of arrest.
Access Bank is currently rated one of Nigeria’s leading banks.
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