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Court Grants Bail To Fidelity Bank Staff Who Allegedly Stole Customers’ N2.7bn

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned a staff of Fidelity Bank Plc, Christopher Jackson Edeh, for allegedly stealing the sum of N2.7 billion, belonging to customers of the bank.

The anti- graft agency arraigned the defendant before Justice O. O. Abike-Fadipe of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos on February 28, on a nine-count charge bordering on fraudulent false accounting and unauthorised access to computer ( i.e hacking into the bank’s data system).

According to the EFCC, the offences committed is said to have contravened Section 337 and 387 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

In the charge, Christopher Edeh was alleged to have stole money from the accounts of the bank’s customers domiciled in the bank.
The victims of the alleged fraud includes; Dangote Cement Plc; the Kano State Government; Power Intervention Fund, NNPC Trading Limited, Stallion Vision Limited, the Lagos State Government’s Blue Rail Line, State Contributory Pension Account, and Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University.

The charges against the defendant reads: “That you Christopher Jackson Edeh, sometimes in September 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, altered customer account details of Dangote Cement Plc in possession of a bank.”

Another charge reads: “Christopher Jackson Edeh, sometimes in September 2023 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to facilitate the stealing of the total sum of N2, 737, 784, 800.00 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty-seven Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira) kept in custody of a bank, secured the unauthorised access to Entrust portal of the bank.”

However,the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.

Meanwhile, following his plea of not guilty, counsel to the EFCC, Z.B. Atiku, informed the court that the prosecution is ready to go on with the arraignment of the defendant but the defence informed the court of the bail application filed on behalf of the defendant
Consequently the court adjourned hearing of the matter till Tuesday, March 19, 2024 for hearing of the application.

At the resumed hearing of the bail application, defence counsel, G.A. Daniel moved the bail application of the defendant and urged the court to grant bail as the offence was a bailable one.

Ruling on the application, Justice Abike-Fadipe granted Christopher Edeh bail in the sum of N5 million, with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must be a blood relation to the defendant.

“The sureties according to the judge shall depose to affidavit of means, must be gainfully employed and resident within the jurisdiction of the court,

According to the judge, the sureties must show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State for the past three years.

Justice Abike-Fadipe thereafter adjourned the case till May 30 and June 6, 2024 for commencement of trial.

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