Microfinance bank MD jailed 4 years over $166 million fraud

Lagos-High-Court
Federal High Court, Lagos state. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court, Lagos, Thursday, sentenced a former Managing Director of the defunct Integrated Microfinance Bank Ltd, Simon Akinteye, to four years in prison over a $166.9 million fraud.

The court sentenced the convict to four years concurrent term of imprisonment on the nine count charge preferred against him by the Ministry of Justice.

The court, however, gave him an option of fine of N2 million on each of the counts, adding that same shall be computed cumulatively.

Mrs Olatoregun had convicted Mr Akinteye on February 4 after finding him guilty of all nine counts charge bordering on reckless granting of loans without collateral, preferred against him.

Meanwhile, the court had on the same February 4 discharged and acquitted his co defendant, Gabriel Adepoju.

The court had then adjourned Mr Akinteye’s sentence until February 21.

When the case was called on Thursday, the court called for addresses from counsel before reading the sentence.

In addressing the court, the prosecutor, O. Ndidi, urged the court to impose the maximum sentence as prescribed by law, adding that a person so convicted of such offence is liable to an imprisonment term of five years.

She argued that in addition, the court is empowered to order a refund of the money.

“I submit that the convict be sentenced based on the appropriate law, and that the money be returned to the NDIC,” she said.

On his part, the defence counsel, A. O Sherif, in urging the court for a mitigation before sentence, referred the court to the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

He urged the court not to impose the maximum sentence on the defendant, adding that he is a first offender with no past criminal records.

He urged the court to temper justice with mercy and impose a light sentence on the convict, adding that same should be allowed to run concurrently.

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Delivering judgment, Mrs Olatoregun held that the court had been told that the convict is a first offender with no past criminal records.

She, however, held that the convict betrayed the trust of clients of the bank who had deposited their monies there.

Taking into consideration that the convict is a first offender, the court sentenced the convict as follows.:

On count one, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count two, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count three, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count four, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count five, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count six, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count seven, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count eight, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

On count nine, four years imprisonment or an option of N2 million fine.

The judge held that while the sentence is to run concurrently, the fine imposed would be cumulative, adding that the sentence should serve as a deterrence to others.

In the charge marked FHC/L/234c/16, the prosecution alleged that the convict recklessly and without collateral, approved credit facilities running into 166 million dollars and N33.3 million to themselves

The convict was said to have at different times, withdrawn from the bank’s account N11 million and diverted it to his personal company named ‘Deblad Nigeria Ltd. ‘.

He was also said to have unlawfully withdrawn the total sum of 166 million dollars and paid same into account of one Temitope domiciled with Citi Bank in the United State of America;.

The offences according to the prosecution contravene the provisions of sections 15 (1)(a) ,18() and 18(3)a)(I) of the Banks and other Financial Institution Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The convict had pleaded not guilty on arraignment (NAN).

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