By Monday Osayande
The Federal High Court sitting in Asaba sentenced former Information Technology (IT) Access Bank Manager, Asaba Branch, Mr. Onus Osagie Amahian, to five years imprisonment each on a 25 count-charge of forgery and false entry into the Delta State government payroll.
The Presiding Judge, Justice T B Adegoke said the sentence is to run concurrently.
The convict was prosecuted by Economy and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Benin City, Edo State Zonal office for fraudulently inserted names and account numbers of his family members and friends into the payroll of Delta State government via Access bank, and subsequently paid monies into those Accounts; thereby defrauding the Bank of an aggregate sum of N 9, 344,013.23m.
The Court held “that you Onus Osagie Amahian between the month of August and October 2011 at Access Bank Asaba Branch within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did steal the sum of N9,344,013.23 only from Delta State Government payroll (NEFT/ DTSG/.TCO/ ACC ) in Access Bank PLC branch Asaba and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390(6) of the Criminal Code Act CAp C38 of the Revised Edition ( Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007.
“That you Onus Osagie Amahian on or about the August 26, 2011 at Access Bank Branch Asaba within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did make false entry by transferring the sum of N450,942.57 out of Delta State government payroll ( NEFT / DTSG/ TCO/ ACC) in Access Bank Plc branch Asaba into access bank account number : 0009564039 operated by one Osagie Blessing knowing same to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(2)(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Law’s of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act”.
However, the defendant pleaded guilty to the 25 count charges.
Having pleaded to the charges read before him, the prosecution counsel, F.O. Dibang asked the court to convict and sentence him accordingly, saying that the convict had made enough restitution to the victim of the crime.
But, Mr. Amaghian’s counsel, Mrs. Itohan Richard pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saing the convict had been in prison custody since 2011, and had shown remorse for his action.
The counsel further pleaded with the “court to consider the convict being a first time offender who is now a Reform person, rehabilitated with brown new mind; and had pleaded guilty on time to avoid taking the court through long process during prosecution.”
Justice Adegoke, said having listened to both sides, and considering no record of criminal activities against him and with certain amount of money recovered from him, sentenced the former Bank Manager, Amaghian to five years imprisonment, hoping that the convict will turn a new leaf.