The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a banker with Access Bank identified as Cyril Ndakoji Amaechi for defrauding Jephthah International School.
The EFCC told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday that Amaechi received N36, 186, 012 (thirty-six million, one hundred and eighty-sixty thousand and twelve naira) from the school and diverted same for his private use.
The South-South Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Ishaq Salihu, who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, said the suspect, a marketer in the bank, had connived with two other persons to swindle the school management.
Salihu also added that while Amaechi was using the schools deposit to build a mansion for himself, he (suspect) issued fake bank statement to the school management, giving the impression that their funds were intact.
The building, which is sited at Rumuekini in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, housed a three-bedroom flat and a double two-bedroom flats.
Speaking further, Salihu explained that the banker got two of his friends involved in the crime in a bid to ensure that the school management was convinced that their money was intact in the bank.
He added that Amaechi had managed to use monies from somebody’s bank account to pay the school when they came for withdrawal, adding that the suspect later found it difficult to balance the two accounts.
The EFCC zonal director said, “The proprietress of Jephthah International School reported to her banker, Access Bank, that some of her cheques cannot be cashed. In the evening of that day, Access Bank, through their representative reported to the EFCC to look into the matter.
“Investigators immediately swung into action and the culprit, the principal suspect, and his accomplices were arrested. The proceeds of the crime have been recovered substantially. We realised that he has built a one-three bedroom apartment and two two-bedroom apartments from the proceeds of his criminal activity.
“He is a marketer and accounts officer of Jephthah International School. He was literally robbing Peter to pay Paul. When the centre could not hold, the school realised that their cheques could not be honoured and reported back to the bank to find out what was happening.
“Earlier on, he (suspect) had got one of his accomplices in the person of Oboma Chisom, who posed as a Customer Relations Officer of Access Bank to place a call to the Administrator of Jephthah International School, that she should tarry a while; that the bank was having some network problems and that her cheques will be honoured within a short period of time.”
The EFCC zonal head explained that the suspect got in touch with one Adebayo, who helped him to design letter-headed papers of his (Adebayo) organisation and succeeded in paying the proprietor of the school staff salaries and thereby temporarily eased the building tension.
“He was trying to balance two different accounts and the same time. We have gone for interim forfeiture order to enable us to seize the property he acquired with proceeds from the crime,” Salihu said.
However, the anti-graft agency has arrested two persons, Tasiu Ismail and Haruna Ismail, suspected to have cloned the Facebook account of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Nsima Ekere.
Also arrested was one Rowland Chimezie for allegedly impersonating top government officials, including Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Chief Felix Obuah.
The proprietor of Jephthah International Secondary School, Port Harcourt, Edith Chukwuogo, thanked the EFCC for their commitment towards ensuring that the suspect was fished out.
She also expressed gratitude to Access Bank for deciding to pay the money diverted by the suspect.