Ikeja High Court Judge, Oluwatoyin Ipaye has sentenced a former staff of a second generation bank, Olawale Garuba 35, to 39 years imprisonment for stealing from the account of a dead customer.
Garuba who earned the jail term almost a year after he was charged with five others on four counts of conspiracy and nine counts of stealing before the court was convicted after he admitted guilt of the offences preferred against him.
The offences are punishable under section 285 subsection 1, Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Other defendants in the matter include Festus Onile; Abiodun Afainiya; Jayeola Afolabi David; Yewande Adeyemi and Adetoun Kammal. The defendants were arrested by the commission following a petition from the bank which alleged fraudulent transfers and withdrawals of N31 million through ATM and Point of Sale, POS, from the account of the dead customer.
All the defendants had pleaded not guilty to 13 charges preferred against them by the commission during their arraignment. However, on June 2, 2016, the convict changed his not guilt plea to guilty when the matter came up for hearing again.
He was immediately convicted by Justice Ipaye, who adjourned the case till today for sentencing.
The convict’s counsel, Olanrewaju Ajanaku, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client. He told the court that his client who he said was a first time offender with a young wife and two little children, was now remorseful and has learnt bitter lesson from his action.
However, the prosecution, Abba Mohammed, in his submission urged the court to consider the three-way traffic of justice including the interests of the court, the victim and the convict while tampering justice with mercy.
After listening to the prayers of counsel, Justice Ipaye said in spite the remorse shown by the convict, she has no sympathy for him. Ipaye held that the convict compromised his position as a banker to steal from a deceased customer whose money would have been used by the family she left behind.
She further held that the convict allowed his greed to overcome him and risk losing the job that thousands of job seekers were craving. She subsequently found the convict guilty on all the 13 count charge and sentenced him to three years imprisonment on each count.
The convict will however spend three years in prison as the sentences are to run concurrently from the date of his first detention, which is July 24, 2015.