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Lagos Microfinance Bank Falls Victim to N150 Million Fraud by Four Employers

Four men were on Friday arraigned at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding their employer, Think Finance Microfinance Bank of N150m in the FESTAC Town area of Lagos State.

The defendants include the company’s Head of Risk Management, Ojimi Ayodeji, the Loan Officer, Isaac Eddy, Joseph Setonji and Juwon Irinyemi, and were arraigned before Magistrate Patrick Nwaka on three counts of theft.

The prosecutor, Thomas Nurudeen told the court that the defendants employed by the firm were put in charge of giving loans to people for business purposes, but they conspired and used fake names to borrow money from the firm to the tune of N150m which they shared among themselves without interest and never paid back.

The defendants presented individuals and represented them with bank verification numbers, account names and passport photographs which were not real to borrow the money.

Nurudeen stated that the defendants committed the offences between 2019 and December 2022 at the Think Finance Microfinance bank located at FESTAC Town.

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According to Nurudeen, the offences contravened and are punishable under Sections 314, 325 (1) and 287 (a) (b) (e) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The charges read in part, “That you, Ojimi Ayodeji, head of risk management, Isaac Eddy, loan officer, Joseph Setonji, Juwon Irinyemi and others now at large, between the year 2019 and December 2022, at the Think Finance Microfinance Bank, FESTAC Town, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit fraud and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 325 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

“That you, Ojimi Ayodeji, head of risk management, Isaac Eddy, loan officer, Joseph Setonji, Juwon Irinyemi, and others now at large, between 2019 and December 2022, at the Think Finance Microfinance Bank, FESTAC Town, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, fraudulently allocated loans of N150m to the individual representing them with BVN and account name and passport photographs which were not real, the representation which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”

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The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The defence counsel, one barrister Ola, prayed the court to grant them bail in the most liberal terms.

Without opposition from the prosecution, Nwaka admitted them to bail in the sum of N2m each with four responsible sureties in like sum.

He said each surety would present a tax clearance receipt of three years that would be verifiable by the court and adjourned the case till August 16, 2023.

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