A former Head of Operations of Union Bank Plc Marina Head Office in Lagos, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Paul Onwughalu was sentenced on Wednesday by Justice S.S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Zonal office, had arraigned on February 24, 2014 on a four-count charge bordering on failure to conduct due diligence in financial transactions.
One of the counts reads: “ That you, Paul Onwughalu, on or about the 9th of January, 2013, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, whilst being an employee of Union Bank Plc, failed to exercise due diligence in relation to the conduct of financial transactions with one DanKawu Bureau De Change by confirming and authorizing payment of the sum of 450,000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) fraudulently transferred by hacking into Union Bank database (flexcube) and transferring the said sum to Union Bank Plc account of one DanKawu Bureau De Change domiciled in Union Bank, Head Office Branch, Marina, Lagos and thereby facilitated the crediting and withdrawal of the said sum by one DanKawu Bureau De Change to various accounts in Ecobank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and Dankawu Bureau De Change. ”
According to the EFCC, the accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Fadeke Giwa, had presented a number of witnesses and tendered various documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
The counsel to the convict, O. Fagbemi, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Ogunsanya found the accused guilty and sentenced him to three years imprisonment on each count.