The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has arraigned a staff of Polaris Bank Limited (formerly Skye Bank Plc), Babatunde Keshinro, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State, for allegedly forging cheques and stealing a bank customer’s N12.6 million.
The EFCC charged Keshinro with nine counts bordering on theft, forgery and fraudulent use of the account.
Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari, EFCC counsel, said the polaris bank staff committed the offence between 2016 and 2018 in Lagos.
She alleged that Keshinro stole funds belonging to one Alhaji Ganiyu Oseni, whose bank account the accused managed at the time.
“The defendant knowingly forged Baritos Nigeria Limited’s document titled: “Part Termination of Fixed Deposit – 1770522625, dated December 12, 2016, and purported to have been signed and issued by Oseni.
“Sometime in August 2018, Keshinro forged a Skye bank cheque number 47423262 dated Aug. 16, 2018 in the sum of N340,000 which was purportedly signed and issued by Oseni.
“In May 2017, he forged a Skye Bank cheque with number 35744848, dated May 22, 2017 for the sum of N303,000 also purportedly issued by Oseni.
“Another Skye Bank cheque with number 35744834 in the sum of N971,000 also purportedly issued by the complainant,” the EFCC Counsel said.
The defendant also forged three more Skye Bank cheques which he fraudulently claimed were signed by Oseni, according to the EFCC prosecutor.
The anti-graft agency also alleged that Keshinro forged a cheque with number 47423247 dated June 12, 2018, for the sum of N410,000.
In April 2018 he allegedly forged a cheque with number 47423248 dated April 20, 2018 in the sum of N225,000.
Keshinro on July 2018 also allegedly forged a cheque with number 47423256 dated July 20, 2018 in the sum of N370,000.
“On Dec. 14, 2016 while being in the employment of Polaris Bank Plc, forged account number 1770522625 which was in the possession of his employer by making a debit of N10 million in favour of Hillcrest Solicitors.
“The debit was purported to have been ordered by Baristos Nigeria Ltd,” Buhari said.
The offence, she said, contravened the provisions of sections 287, 365, 337 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
Following the arraignment, the defence counsel, M. S. Ehizoge via a bail application dated February 10, prayed the court to grant Keshinro bail on liberal terms.
“The applicant is not a flight risk; he has no prior criminal record. When he was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, he always came to their office.
“He has been in custody since Dec. 17, 2019, I humbly pray that he be granted bail in the most liberal terms to enable counsel to have proper access to him,” Ehizoge said.
Buhari, however, opposed the bail application and asked that the defendant be remanded at the correctional center due to the overwhelming evidence against him.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a short ruling, admitted Keshinro to bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum.
Taiwo adjourned the case till April 8 for trial.