A Federal High Court sitting in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State has on Monday sentenced a former employee of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Felix Diete, to four years imprisonment for stealing the sum of N2, 000, 000 from funds belonging to a customer.
Diete’s journey to the correctional centre started sometime on September 2, 2016, when three customers of FCMB complained that they gave the convict the sum of N6 million to deposit into their accounts but only deposited N4 million and made away with N2 million.”
In a statement signed by the Head, Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, on Wednesday, Diete was arraigned in January 2017 on three count charges.
The statement read in part, “The convict was arraigned in January 2017 on three counts bordering on stealing, contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b) (8) and 9 of Criminal code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 read along with Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank(Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act CAP B3 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 2007.
“One of the three counts read: ‘That you, Felix Diete, sometime in September 2016 at Port Harcourt within the judicial division of this Honorable Court being an employee of First City Monument Bank did fraudulently steal the sum of Two Million Naira (N 2, 000,000 00) only, property of Ukenna Ngozi Godswill, a customer of First City Monument Bank and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b)( 8) and 9 of Criminal Code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 read along with Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act CAP B3 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 2007.’
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges. His plea prompted the prosecuting counsel, Adebayo Soares, to prepare for trial which lasted four years and resulted in his conviction.
“In his judgment on Monday, Justice Inyang said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt on count one and convicted and sentenced Diete to four years imprisonment on the count. The judge, however, discharged him on counts 2 and 3 on the grounds that he denied ever seeing the other two customers who came and testified as pw2 and pw3.