A banker, Paul Onwughalu, has been sentenced to a three years imprisonment for N450m fraud.
Justice S.S Ogunsanya of the Lagos High Court Wednesday sentenced Onwughalu, a former head of operations, Union Bank Plc, Head Office, Marina, after he was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on failure to conduct due diligence in financial transactions.
Onwughalu was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC , Lagos Zonal office on February 24.
One of the counts reads: “ That you, Paul Onwughalu, on or about the 9th of January, 2013, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, whilst being an employee of Union Bank Plc, failed to exercise due diligence in relation to the conduct of financial transactions with one DanKawu Bureau De Change by confirming and authorizing payment of the sum of N450,000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) fraudulently transferred by hacking into Union Bank database (flexcube) and transferring the said sum to Union Bank Plc account of one DanKawu Bureau De Change domiciled in Union Bank, Head Office Branch, Marina, Lagos and thereby facilitated the crediting and withdrawal of the said sum by one DanKawu Bureau De Change to various accounts in Ecobank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and Dankawu Bureau De Change. ”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Fadeke Giwa, presented a number of witnesses and tendered various documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
Counsel to the convict, O. Fagbemi, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Ogunsanya found the accused guilty and sentenced him to three years imprisonment on each count.