N8 billion currency scam: Two bankers jailed for 18 years

Naira notes
Naira notes

A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan has sentenced a Central Bank of Nigeria staff, Philip Togun, and a woman, Esther Afolabi, ex-staff of WEMA Bank to 18 years imprisonment for participating in stealing of N8 billion at CBN Ibadan branch.

They were arraigned for conspiracy, conversion, forgery, re-circulation of mutilated currencies and stealing CBN’s N8 billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Togun, a former Treasury Assistant at CBN Ibadan branch and Ms. Afolabi, have been standing trial since 2015 alongside others.

The other accused persons standing trial with the convicts are Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Festus Adeyemi, Yusuf Fatai, Olukunle Sijuwade, Emanueal Ordia and Patient Okoro.

Two others — Ademola Oni and Tope Akintade — had earlier opted for plea bargain and were similarly sentenced upon fulfillment of the terms of the plea bargain.

A few other accused persons have also reached advanced stages in their plea bargain with the EFCC.

Sentencing Mr. Togun and Ms. Afolabi, Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek held that she adopted the plea bargain agreement entered into by them with the EFCC as basis for her judgment.

“I hereby convict the fourth accused person, Philip Togun, for counts 15, 17 and 19 respectively and convict the fifth accused person, Esther Afolabi, for counts 16, 18 and 19 respectively.

“Togun is sentenced to three years in prison for each of the three counts of 12 calendar months a year to commence from Jan. 1, 2016.

“The convict shall forfeit to the Federal Government of Nigeria the following assets found in his possession: a building located in Ibadan and the money in the two bank accounts operated by the convict.

“Afolabi is also sentenced to three years imprisonment for each of the three charges, 12 calendar months of the year, commencing from Jan. 1, 2016.

“The convict shall forfeit the following assets which are the proceeds of the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria — a five-bedroom duplex, a filling station, the entire money scattered across seven different bank accounts in Nigeria,” the judge ruled.

Justice Abdulmaleek, however, said that the sentences would run concurrently.

The two defense counsels, Olalekan Ojo and Adewole Olajire, expressed dismay with the sentences.

They said the judge did not consider the date when the convicts were arrested and also did not give full consideration to the plea bargain between the two convicts and the EFCC.

Shortly before the judgment was delivered, the lawyers had pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the former bankers.


Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.