John Alikalih, a banker working at the Customer Service section of a commercial bank, allegedly withdrew N1.4 million from customers’ accounts under false pretenses. He was, yesterday, arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court in Lagos.
According to Vanguard, Alikalih, whose place of resident was not disclosed, is on trial on a three-count charge bordering on fraud. The prosecutor, Inspector Abbass Abayomi, disclosed to the court that the defendant, who was a staff of a commercial bank in Lagos, committed the offences on January 19, at 1p.m, in Isheri Ojodu branch of the bank.
He said the defendant used his position in the bank to fraudulently withdraw N1.1 million from an account belonging to one Mrs Adesola. Abayomi. He was alleged to have gone further to withdraw another N334,052 from an account belonging to another customer of the bank identified as Mrs Benson.
The customers, upon realizing a fraudulent deductions in their account balance, reported to the bank authourities and further investigations on the missing money was then trace to the banker.
According to the prosecutor:
“The defendant willfully procured the registration of two ATM cards belonging to the two complainants, Adesola and Benson, and used the ATM cards to perpetrate the acts. The total amount, which the defendant fraudulently withdrew from the bank customers’ accounts was N1.4 million.”
The offences are punishable under Sections 326 and 327 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge. He was subsequently granted bail by the Magistrate Abimbola Komolafe to the tune of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The Magistrate said the sureties must be gainfully employed, one of who must be a blood relation to the defendant, adding that the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to Lagos State Government and adjourned the case till February 27 for a mention.