An important event took place on Friday when the Yaba Magistrates’ Court convened a hearing about an alleged robbery that took place in the FESTAC Town region of Lagos State. The heist allegedly involved four individuals who are accused of stealing N150 million from their company, Think Finance Microfinance Bank. The defendants, who were accused of stealing, included Ojimi Ayodeji, who was the Head of Risk Management, Isaac Eddy, who was the Loan Officer, Joseph Setonji, and Juwon Irinyemi.
Details of the alleged crime were revealed by the prosecutor, Thomas Nurudeen, in a presentation that was made before Magistrate Patrick Nwaka. According to Nurudeen, the defendants, who were in charge of extending loans for business purposes, conspired together and unlawfully collected N150 million from the corporation. Unbelievably, not only did they divide the stolen money among themselves, but they also neglected to reimburse it, which resulted in a considerable financial loss for the company.
The defendants engaged in fraudulent activities in order to obtain the monies that they needed. They deceived people participating in the scheme by creating fake bank verification numbers, account names, and passport photographs, which they then utilised. These people acted as the defendants’ representatives without their knowledge and helped arrange the illegal loan payments. At the Think Finance Microfinance Bank located in FESTAC Town, the violations were carried out between the years of 2019 and December 2022.
Nurudeen stated that the activities of the defendants breached Sections 314, 325 (1), and 287 (a), (b), and (e) of the Lagos State Criminal Law, 2015, which provide appropriate punishments for such offenses. These sections of the law state that adequate punishments should be given for offenses of this nature.
The following statement was included in the charges that were brought against the defendants: “That you, Ojimi Ayodeji, Head of Risk Management, Isaac Eddy, Loan Officer, Joseph Setonji, Juwon Irinyemi, and others now at large, between the years 2019 and December 2022, at the Think Finance Microfinance Bank, FESTAC Town, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit fraud and
The defendants have entered not guilty pleas in response to the charges against them.
During the course of the court proceedings, the attorney who was defending the defendants, Barrister Ola, made a motion to have the bail restrictions loosened. After taking into consideration the proposal, Magistrate Nwaka decided to issue bail in the amount of N2 million to each of the defendants. The release on bail was conditional on the presentation of four reliable sureties, each of whom was asked to put up N2 million as collateral. It is extremely significant that the prosecution did not raise any objections to the bail application.
Magistrate Nwaka emphasized that each surety is required to show a legitimate tax clearance receipt that is valid for a period of three years. The receipt will be verified by the court. In addition, the judge postponed additional court hearings until August 16, 2023, which will be the next available date.
Shockwaves have been sent throughout the financial community as a result of the alleged theft of N150 million and embezzlement of funds from Think Finance Microfinance Bank. These events have brought to light the necessity of strong internal controls and employee responsibility. As the trial continues, the court will evaluate whether or not the defendants are guilty by conducting a thorough investigation of the evidence and listening to their statements. In the event that they are found guilty, they could be subject to harsh punishments in accordance with the applicable sections of the Criminal Law of Lagos State. Up until that point, the defendants have the constitutional right to the presumption of innocent that the constitution grants them.