Depositors’ money threatened as Polaris Bank staff stole N10.3m from customer’s account

A staff of Polaris Bank, Babatunde Keshinro, has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly forging a customer’s cheque and stealing the sum of N10.3m.

Keshinro was arraigned before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on nine counts bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.

Keshinro allegedly forged a Polaris Bank cheque No. 47423262 dated August 16, 2018, in the sum of N340,000 purportedly signed by one Alhaji Kola Oseni.

The charge read in part, “That you, Babatunde Keshinro, on December 14, 2016, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, whilst being in the employment of Polaris Bank Plc, falsified account number 1770522625 in possession of your employer by making a debit entry in the sum of N10m in favour of Hillcrest Solicitors and purported same to have been made by the order of Baristos Nigeria Limited.”

Keshinro, according to the prosecutor, Bilkisu Buhari, was the account manager of Oseni and his company, Baritos Nigeria Limited. On December 14, 2016, he allegedly made a debit entry of N10m supposedly on the instructions of Baristos Nigeria Limited in favour of Hillcrest Solicitors.

Buhari told the court that the offences contravened sections 287, 365, 337 and 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, No. 11, 2015.

Keshinro pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the plea of the defendant, the prosecutor urged the court to remand him in a correctional facility and asked for a trial date.

However, Keshinro’s counsel, S. Ehizoge, informed the court of a pending bail application dated February 10, 2020, and urged the court to grant his client bail on the most liberal terms.

The presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N5m with two sureties, one of whom must be a level-14 officer and the other a close relation, who must also provide proof of a ownership of landed property and evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government in the last three years.

She adjourned the matter till April 8, 2020, for trial.

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