23rd February, 2012
For granting himself and his other colleagues loans without following due process, a Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has sentenced a banker to 34 years imprisonment.
The banker, Mr. Ojo Bankole Ezekiel was an Accountant and Operation Officer with Cooperative Savings and Loans Limited, a primary mortgage institution in Abuja.
He was arraigned alongside a former branch manager of the bank, Mr. Adesiyan Adeniyi Adeyinka, now deceased, on a 17 count charge of granting advances to staff of the bank contrary to laid down procedures.
Specifically, the convict and the deceased manager were alleged to have criminally granted a loan of N20million to themselves and two other staff of the bank. Though he admitted granting only a loan of N13millon, he however pleaded not guilty to the 17 count-charge imputed to him and this necessitated his full trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that prosecuted him called three witnesses in the course of the trial and tendered several documents. At the close of the prosecution’s case, the convict’s counsel filed a no-case submission which was overruled by the court.
Consequently, the convict was called to proceed with his defence but he opted not to proceed and rested his case with the EFCC.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice M. I. Cuiaba convicted the banker on all the 17 counts and sentenced him to two years on each count, adding up to 34 years imprisonment .The jail term is however to run concurrently, implying that the accused will only spend two years in prison.