Justice Jane Inyang of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has convicted and sentenced one Felix David Diete to four years imprisonment, for stealing customers’ funds.
Mr Diete, an employee of FCMB was jailed on Monday, January 11, 2021, after four years of diligent prosecution by the Port Harcourt zonal office of The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Three customers of the bank had on September 2, 2016, complained that they gave Mr. Diete the sum of N6m to deposit in their accounts but the convict deposited the sum of N4m and converted the balance N2,000,000. 00( Two Million Naira only) to his personal use.
He was subsequently arrested and arraigned on three counts bordering on stealing contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b) (8) and 9 of Criminal code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2007, and Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act, CAP B3 of the revised edition of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2007.
One of the three counts reads: “That you Felix Diete sometime in September 2016 at Port Harcourt within the judicial division of this Honorable Court being an employee of First City Monument Bank did fraudulently steal the sum of Two Million Naira (N 2, 000,000 00) only, the property of Ukenna Ngozi Godswill, a customer of First City Monument Bank and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b)( 8) and 9 of Criminal Code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 read along with Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank(Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act CAP B3 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 2007.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
His plea prompted the prosecuting counsel, Adebayo Soares to prepare a ground for trial which lasted four years, resulting in his conviction.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Inyang, said the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt on count one and convicted and sentenced Diete to four years imprisonment on the count. The judge, however, discharged him on counts 2 and 3 on the grounds that he denied ever seeing the other two customers who came and testified as pw2 and pw3.