Accountant stole N14m using company’s ATM card — Witness

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By Moji Eniola
A prosecution witness, Mrs Olufunmilayo Akinsanya, on Tuesday narrated at an Ikeja Special Offences Court how a 37-year-old accountant, Olufemi Oluyamoju, stole N14 million from his employer, the Asset Management Group Ltd.

Akinsanya, the Head of Operations and Human Resources of the company, revealed that Oluyamoju stole the money over a period by making withdrawals from the organisation’s Union Bank account using the company’s ATM card.

The witness, who is also the Head of Operations and Human Resources of the Muritala Mohammed Foundation,
was led in evidence by Mr E. A. Jackson, the prosecutor of the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU).

She said that sometime in May 2016, the management of the organisation noticed some discrepancies in its bank
accounts, complaints from payments of vendors as well as other outstanding payments.

Akinsanya revealed that the company’s newly employed accountant who joined the organisation in June 2016
discovered the discrepancies when Oluyamoju was asked to handover to him.

She added that the statement of account from one of the company’s account with Union Bank and other documents that Oluyamoju handed over to the new accountant were forged and contained some discrepancies.

She said: “We realised that it did not contain the volume of transactions that the company had.

“We approached Union Bank, we were given the statement account, we also asked if they had issued a statement
of account and they said No.”

“We compared the two statements and realised that the two statements had differences.

“We asked Oluyamoju to come and explain why, he did not come,” she said.

Akinsanya told the court that Oluyamoju sent a message to the CEO of the company, admitting that he diverted
the money and that he would want to repay the stolen funds.

“As a result of that, he wrote three cheques  totalling N6.8 million which he had mentioned in his e-mail that he was going to pay in three instalment, though, we have in our account records was N14 million.

“A decision was reached at the management meeting to hand him over to the police.

“Oluyamoju paid only N900, 000 into the company’s Standard Chartered Bank account and he was not forthcoming with the other payments.

“He later paid in another N1.1million to the police at Panti.

“Because we were not satisfied with the way the case was going, we then referred it to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) where he paid in another N500, 000 to the company at SFU.

“The defendant has refunded only N2.5 million,” the witness said.

Akinsanya said the defendant allegedly stole the funds from the company’s account at Union Bank which was the petty cash account of the company.

She said that funds in the Union Bank account were usually transferred from Standard Chartered Bank.

“When these funds are being transferred into the Union Bank account, the defendant withdraws it through ATM
of the organisation and used it for his personal needs,” she said.

The prosecution sought to tender the cheques purportedly issued by the defendant as evidence but the defence counsel,
Mr Olawale Olanrewaju, objected on the grounds that it was not “front-loaded” as required by law.

The vacation judge, Justice Olusola Williams, ruled in favour of the defence and directed that the prosecution should also front-load the additional proof of evidence.

Justice Williams adjourned the case until July 25 for hearing of the bail application and continuation of trial.

NAN reports that the Oluyamoju is facing a three-count charge of stealing, forgery of statement of account and using a false statement of account.

He allegedly committed the offence between January and December 2016 at his employer’s office located at No. 2A, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

At the court’s proceedings held on July 16, Justice Williams revoked Oluyamoju’s bail and ordered that he should be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons for previously failing to come to court for his trial.

The offences contravened Sections 278(a), 278(2)(f), 285(7), 361(1)(a), 363(1) and 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011. (NAN)
Edited by Edwin Nwachukwu/Dele Akinsola

Biola Lawal

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