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Four employees of Fidelity Bank arrested over N200 million scam



Four Fidelity Bank Plc workers, together with eleven accomplices, are facing criminal charges in a Lagos High Court for allegedly defrauding the bank of N200 million.

In the suit number FHC/10/10089c/19 the four Fidelity Bank staff identified as: Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma and Jude Alphaeus, were charged alongside eleven others: Adeowale Jeff Johnson, Ogubiukwu Peace Chinenye, Olanrewaju Joseph, Alabi Adeola Abiodun, Umaru Hamsu, Olagbaju Oladayo, Afeez Mudashiru, Ayokanmi Oshagbami, Anyor Isaac Ushang, Bashir Olanrewaju and Lanre Yusuf.

The 15 defendants were all docked on a 2-count charge of conspiracy and stealing by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. According to the head of Legal and prosecuting counsel of the EFCC, A. B. C. Ozioko ESQ, the 15 defendants committed the alleged offence in Lagos The EFCC counsel told the court that the offence committed by the defendants contravened Sections 278(1)(2) & 285(1) and 9(b) of the criminal law of Lagos State, 2011.

The head of Investigations Group of Internal Audit and Investigations Division of Fidelity Bank, Onovae Oghenovo, had petitioned the EFCC narrating how fraudulent transfers of the sum of over N150m were made from the accounts of Fidelity Bank Motor Vehicle Insurance sinking fund/5080019844 and Interswitch Ltd/5080119696, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd/4010015571 and FSL Securities LTD/4010051187 (customers of the bank).

Oghenovo, in the petition, said that internal investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the full amount and that the affected transactions were consummated with ATM debit cards, which were fraudulently linked to the accounts.


“Having fraudulently primed and linked the debits to the above-mentioned accounts, the fraudsters then made various ATM cash withdrawals from different ATM terminals, POS purchases, bill payments as well as ATM fund transfers. “Also preliminary investigation revealed that 22 of the debit cards used to perpetrate the frauds were cloned as their PAN matches those issued to some of the bank customers,” Oghenovo said. According to Oghenovo, preliminary investigations conducted showed that the fraudulent transactions were processed by the user credentials of two of the bank’s staff, Jude Alphaeus and Uchechukwu Uma.

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“However, both Jude and Uma claimed that they are suspecting their subordinates namely: Ann Obiakor, Adesina Abosede, Andrew John, Olusegun Babasola, Chinedu Aharanwa, Ifeanyi Dike, Sunday Adaraloye, Ahmed Ajisola, Oluchi Ifedigbo, Mac Donald Louis, and Toheed Ajoa.

“The internal review showed that Omidiji Joseph Olarewaju’s account number 3218570016 in FCMB received a fraudulent proceed of N150m and subsequently transferred the sums of N7.17m and N14.43m to Waltham BDC and Findrex Aviation business school account numbers 0022550922 and 2031957515 with Union Bank of Nigeria and First Bank of Nigeria respectively.

“Also Yusuf Samuel, Alabi Adeola Abiodun, and Ojelabi Sunday Adeyemi, with the account numbers: 5909407018, 2803961017, 5835504010 received the sums of N1.95m, N2.94m, N1.5m respectively with FCMB. “Also both Olusegun Babasola and Ahmed Ajisola (now at large) viewed the victims accounts prior to the fraud incident”.

The case has been adjourned to 28th September, 2021. Fidelity Bank, not new to similar fraudulent crime Fidelity Bank Plc is however not new to such controversies. Recall that three officials of the bank were arrested by the police for allegedly hacking into the bank accounts of customers and diverting a total sum of N150 million.


Fidelity Bank Plc, a tier-2 lender in Nigeria, led by Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe as its Chief Executive Officer, The officials, Oyelade Shola-Isaac, 32, Osuolale Hammid, 40, and Akeem Adesina, 33, were apprehended along with eight other suspects in connection with the fraud.

Three of the accomplices, Okpetu John, 29; Chukwumnoso Ifeanyi, 30; and Salako Abdulsalam were said to be MTN agents, while others were identified as Ismaeel Salami, 49; Akinola Oghuan, 34; Sarumi Abubakar, 32; James Idagu, 56; and 33-year-old Sunday Okeke.

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It was gathered that five of the suspects, including the kingpin, Salami, were rounded up by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force at an eatery in the Bode Thomas area of the state. About 32 Automated Teller Machine cards belonging to the victims were reportedly recovered from Salami’s car. They were said to have led operatives to Kwara and Oyo States, where other members of the gang were apprehended.

The Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), said the bankers carried out the fraud on the accounts of customers, who did not subscribe to internet banking. According to the police, “The work of the network provider suspects was to assist the bankers to swap the SIM cards of the targeted bank customers so that they were unable to receive alerts of any transactions on their accounts within the period that money was stolen from their accounts. “The suspects, after successful withdrawals of the money, transferred the money into about 40 different accounts to avoid being detected. They carried out their operations at weekends and public holidays so as to evade being detected by the bank monitoring mechanisms or the owners of the accounts. They defrauded their victims to the tune of over N150m.” Similarly, recall the EFCC had arraigned five workers of the lender Plc before Justice Archibong Archibong of the Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo over a diversion of dead customers’ money for personal use. The accused were arraigned on a 23-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery, obtaining by false pretense and criminal conversion of depositors’ funds to the tune of N37,690,000. The accused were identified as Mbong Essien, Akwa Akwa, Precious John, Kenneth Udoetuk and Ubong Udom. According to the anti-graft agency, the Uyo Zonal Office uncovered the criminal syndicate of bankers which specialises in forging signatures of deceased bank customers and stealing from their accounts. EFCC said the suspects also executed fraudulent financial transactions, including unauthorised debits of depositors’ funds. “Investigation by the EFCC revealed that Mbong used his position as the head, Operations and Transaction Service and Delivery, to establish a criminal syndicate that specialised in perpetrating the fraudulent transactions and deductions.

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“Further investigations also showed that without the authorisation or knowledge of the management of the bank, the defendants managed a fictitious fixed deposit account with interest accruing to it,” an EFCC statement read in part.


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UConn MBA Student Launching Lingerie Company That Shuns Toxic Chemicals, Appeals to Health-Conscious Consumers



Christina Phillips was horrified when she discovered that toxic and dangerous chemicals are used to manufacture women’s bras and underwear.

Who would suspect that formaldehyde, pesticides, petroleum, dyes, parabens and “forever chemicals’’ are found in the creation of most popular brands of lingerie?

Phillips, a UConn MBA candidate, is setting out to change that with her lingerie startup called “Puure.’’ She hopes to have her line of organic, non-toxic underwear available in the marketplace in 2024.

“There’s a silent threat beneath our clothing. It is a huge problem that scares me,’’ Phillips says. “I think millennial women are enlightened about healthy eating and healthy living and they’re concerned about environmental toxins. They want to make healthy decisions about their bodies. They have no tolerance for greenwashing. They seek brands that share the values that they do.’’


Her target customer is health-conscious Black women between the ages of 25 and 45, who are trying to optimize their reproductive health.

Nearly a quarter of young Black women have uterine fibroid tumors, as compared to just 6 percent of white women. Fibroids are benign tumors in the muscle wall that can be painful and cause a host of health problems, including interfering with fertility.

Phillips Brings a Wealth of Knowledge, Experience to Her Company

Phillips recently participated in an eight-week business accelerator, called Summer Fellowship. Sponsored by the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI), the program helps UConn-affiliated entrepreneurs with everything from legal concerns to finding financing sources.

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At the conclusion of the program, Puure was one of six startups selected to compete in the Wolff New Venture Competition, the School of Business’ pinnacle entrepreneurship challenge, in October. Puure will compete for a share of $50,000 in business funding.


In addition to her MBA degree, which she plans to complete in spring 2025, Phillips brings a strong background in textiles and retail experience to her startup. In fact, this is not her first business venture.

Phillips started her career in sales for a home textiles company that sold bedding and bath products. There she became familiar with fabrics, natural fibers, and sustainability issues. She went on to work in retail for a table linens/kitchen company, and then for a company that made sunglasses and optical frames.

She and her sister also had a special-occasion clothing line for six years and became knowledgeable about clothing and manufacturing.

“We didn’t know what we were doing initially, but we learned a lot about entrepreneurship, business development, and manufacturing practices,’’ says Phillips, a native of Westchester, N.Y. What they lacked was a solid foundation in building a business, and that’s something that Phillips gained through Summer Fellowship.

“I needed a foundation, including developing a core strategy and defining my competitive advantage,’’ she says. “The program mentors were great and welcomed us to bounce ideas off them. I learned how to organize the company financially. And I appreciated that all the other entrepreneurs were so like-minded and supportive.’’


Company to Offer Comfort, Style—and Wellness Advocacy

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Puure lingerie will be made of organic and non-toxic material, but Phillips is also creating garments that are comfortable, well-fitting and stylish. Her company will be very committed to advocating for feminine wellness. After mulling over the business idea for a few years, Phillips began to seriously explore her interest in the $80 billion lingerie business in February. By April, she had won CCEI’s Get Seeded competition and a $5,000, first-place prize.

Her company is off to a quick start. Phillips is already sourcing suppliers and deciding whether to manufacture in the United States or in Europe. She has a technical designer now and is looking to grow her team.

“Everything I do is very intentional, even down to the tags,’’ she says. “I want to partner with factories that are not only producing organic good but are practicing fair labor, are committed to sustainability, and are not solving one problem while creating another.’’

Because of their unique health needs, Phillips is focusing on Black women. She initially hopes to market directly to consumers and through pop-up events in New York and Connecticut, before partnering with retailers. Black women are very brand-aware, Phillips says, and she believes that interest in her products will grow rapidly.


The name Puure came from a friend in Summer Fellowship, after Phillips discovered that her first choice for a name was already trademarked.

“I like the name because it says what it is…pure, organic, not superficial. This isn’t a company that’s out to trick anyone,’’ she says. “Our goal is to produce something that is healthy and safe for women. Our core values are integrity, transparency and holding to what we claim.’’

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Court Orders Service Of Contempt Charge On GTBank MD Over Frozen Customer Account



Barring any unforeseen development, the managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Miriam Olusanya will, from next week, be subjected to trial for contempt of court for allegedly blocking a customer’s account domiciled in the bank’s Apata, Ibadan branch with an order purportedly obtained from a magistrates’ court in Kano state.

The trial for contempt of court was ordered by Justice A. L. Akintola of the High Court of Oyo state, following an ex-parte motion brought by Musibau Adetunbi (SAN), lawyer to the bank’s aggrieved customer, Omolara Abosede Ogunkoya.

By the order issued on September 18, a copy of which was seen in Abuja on Tuesday, September 19, Justice Akintola directed that court documents relating to the contempt proceedings be served on the bank’s MD and its Apata branch’s Manager, Ms. Funmi Olutayo.

Part of the order reads: “Furthermore, by this order, the applicant herein, is hereby allowed to serve Form 48 (notice of consequences of disobedience to order of this honourable court made on the 7th day of September 2023 and Form 49 (notice to show cause why the order of attachment should not be made and other subsequence processes in these contempt proceedings on the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Pic, Miriam Olusanya by substituted means to wit; by pasting the said processes on the wall of, Guaranty Trust Bank Pic, Apata branch/business office, Ibadan Oyo state.”


The contempt case was informed by the bank’s alleged refusal to obey the court’s orders contained in a judgment delivered on September 7 directing it to, among others immediately lift the restriction it placed on Mrs. Ogunkoya’s account.

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Mrs Ogunkoya had sued the bank following its alleged refusal to lift the restriction it placed on her account without allegedly offering any reason for its action.

In the fundamental rights enforcement suit, marked: M/696/2023 Mrs. Ogunkoya said she had operated the account without hindrance until the bank suddenly placed a lien on it earlier this year.

She added that her efforts to make the bank rethink or provide a reason for its action proved abortive, prompting her to sue.

Delivering judgment on the suit on September 7, Justice Akintola found among others that the bank’s action was unjustified, noting that the order on which the bank relied to act was doubtful.


The judge said: “It is doubtful if the enrolled order of the Kano Chief Magistrate Court, attached as Exhibit B to the respondent’s (the bank’s) counter affidavit is a certified true copy of such an order.

“To the extent that it purports to be a public document, but which is not certified as a true copy of the original, this court cannot take cognizance of same.

“In the end result, the basis upon which the respondent (GTBank) has placed the lien or embargo on the applicant’s account maintained with the respondent is of doubtful validity, and same cannot be recognized or given any effect to by this court.

“It is on this premise that this court finds merit in the applicant’s application, and the same accordingly succeeds. It is consequently, hereby ordered as prayed.”

The judge proceeded to declare that GTBank’s placement of lien or seizure of Mrs. Ogunkoya’s account amounted to a violation of her right to own property guaranteed under Sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.

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Justice Akintola ordered the bank to immediately lift the restriction on the account, orders the bank has failed to comply with, promoting Mrs. Ogunkoya’s resort to the contempt proceedings to compel GTBank to comply with the subsisting orders of the court.

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Nigeria: Mobilise Finance To Meet Sustainable Development, NESG Advises Govt



The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) on Monday, said mobilising finance in high-growth sectors was critical towards achieving sustainable development in Nigeria.

Dr Olusegun Omisakin, Director of Research, NESG, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja, ahead of its 29th economic summit (NES 29), scheduled for Oct. 23 -24.

“Efforts should focus on domestic revenue mobilisation by expanding the tax net and improving collection efficiency.

Omisakin, explained that Nigeria should leverage a compelling portfolio of competitive investment-grade projects and social investment programmes to access and deploy financial resources in support of sustainable development initiatives.


“Promoting innovative financing mechanisms, strengthening public and private financial institutions, and enhancing public-private partnerships are essential for mobilising the necessary funds.

” Hence, it is crucial to shift Nigeria from a predominantly government-led funding approach to a private sector-led investment-driven economy, while also improving transparency, efficiency, and accountability in public revenue and expenditure.”

He said the forthcoming NES 29, themed: ” Pathways for sustainable economic transformation and inclusion,” was in view of the urgency of translating economic growth into improved and sustainable living standards for all citizens.

He explained further that the summit theme hints at Nigeria’s potential for sustainable development, leveraging innovative policies, robust institutions, strategic infrastructural investments, and human capital development. (NAN)

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