Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
A staff of Wema Bank, Mrs. Abosede Oyelakin, on Thursday gave an account of how some staff of the bank allegedly defrauded both the bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of over N340 million in the mutilated currency scam.
Oyelakin is the first prosecution witness in the ongoing case against some CBN staff and employees of some commercial banks.
While giving account of the gathering and taking of mutilated currency to the Ibadan branch of the apex bank at a Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Thursday, Oyelakin said co-staff Ademola Oni and Esther Afolabi were involved in the process that saw the banks recorded a shortage of over N340 million in the mutilated currency deals between 2010 and 2013.
Oyelakin, who is the Team Leader, Inspection Department, at the Southwest Regional Office of Wema Bank, Ibadan, gave details of how the accused persons allegedly replaced several packs of mutilated N1,000 notes with N10, N20, N50 and lower denominations to gain over N340 million.
The transactions were carried out with 173 boxes which were supposed to contain N1.7 billion but which fell short of over N340 million.
The boxes were safely delivered to the CBN until a petition stirred up the investigation that revealed the alleged multiple deals involving staff of CBN and the commercial banks.
During investigation, Oyelakin said about 95 per cent of the currency wraps were not signed whereas minimum of three signatures were needed on each of them.
She revealed that other bank records including the Volt Movement Register were used to trace those involved in the alleged scam.
Three CBN staff – Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola and Togun Kayode Philip – and three Wema Bank staff are standing trial on a 20-count charge of conspiring to defraud banks in the mutilated currency scam.
Ademola Oni, Esther Afolabi and Ademola Ebenezer Adewale are the Wema Bank staff involved in the case.