Had Stanbic IBTC management and security forces not been smart, a 39-year-old man, Anslem Achunine, would have become an overnight billionaire.
Achunine was, on Tuesday, appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly forging eight copies of the bank letterhead to collect the sum.
Achunine, who resides in the Shomolu area of Lagos, is facing a two count charge of conspiracy and forgery.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Prosecutor, Mr Ibijoke Akinpelu, told the court that the defendant committed the offences in Dec. 2019, at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Oshodi Branch, Lagos.
Akinpelu said the defendant forged letters instructing the bank to release and transfer funds from some blocked accounts into an account he had opened in the bank.
He said the defendant tried to collect the N1.7 billion from eight blocked accounts.
Akinpelu said that when the bank tried to confirm the letters it was noticed that the letterheads were forged.
“The police was invited and the defendant was arrested,” the prosecutor said.
He said the offences contravened Sections 411 and 365 (2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 411 stipulates two years imprisonment for conspiracy, while Section 365 (2) provides 14 years jail term for forgery with seal.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Adedayo, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.
She ordered that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and must be gainfully employed with evidence of tax payments to Lagos State Government.
Adedayo adjourned the case until March 9 for mention.