22nd March, 2012
An Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court has reserved judgment till 28 March, 2012, in a case of stealing preferred against Martina Amosu, the Accounts Manager of Sweet Sensation Confectionary Limited.
She was arraigned on a 25-count charge of stealing various sums of money amounting to N1,482,900 alleged to be property of Sweet Sensation Confectionary Limited contrary to Section 390 (6) of the Criminal Code Cap 17, Volume 2 Laws of Lagos State, 2003. The defendant was arraigned before the court on 25 September, 2009.
The police prosecutor called seven witnesses in prosecuting the case among who are the General Manager in charge of Finance of the company, Mr. O.O. Ososanya, who failed to state the amount of money alleged to have been missing from the account of the company; a restaurant Accountant Miss Nike Edu; Accounts Clerk responsible for cash deposit to the banks Abiodun Majekodumi; Ololade Ajayi and the head of Outdoor Catering, Mrs. Cecilia Omowunmi.
The defendant who was led in evidence by her counsel, Barrister Tope Elusogbon, gave audience for herself and she was the sole witness for the defence.
She stated that she is a Chartered Accountant, holds a Higher National Diploma in Accounting and a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. She was employed by the complainant as Account Manager in December 2002. She stated that her schedule of duties is Supervisory in nature. She reviews accounting information, makes analysis and makes presentations to her bosses, the Assistant General Manager and General Manager.
She further stated that over 18 staff work under her including 13 unit accountants who indirectly work under her supervision, she denied stealing any money as alleged in counts one to twenty-five representing an aggregate sum of N1,482,900.
She also told the court that her function does not involve handling of cash as only documents pass through her table and that these documents are verified by the audit department on a daily basis. She said cash is brought to her office and banked on a daily basis because no cashier is allowed to keep any amount of money in excess of N25,000 overnight for security reasons.
She contended that she was not responsible for any missing money. Under cross examination, she stated that most of the alleged stolen monies in the twenty-five counts are intact and reflected in monies deposited in the bank accounts of the company as shown in exhibits tendered during the trial of the case.
In his final submission, the counsel to the accused person, Mr. Tope Elusogbon told the court that apart from the glaring contradiction in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, the prosecution has woefully failed to link the defendant to any of the charges of stealing set out in all the twenty-five counts. He therefore urged the court to hold that the defendant is not guilty and to discharge and acquit her on all the counts.
In addition, Mr. Elusogbon urged the court not only to hold that the prosecution has failed to prove any of the charges against the defendant beyond any reasonable doubt, but to also hold that the charges against the defendant are frivolous and malicious, considering the fact that no single employee of the company saddled with responsibilities of handling cash and making payments to the bank was charged or prosecuted in the circumstance of this case.