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How three ex-First Bank staff connived with fraudsters to steal N20bn

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A witness in the ongoing trial of three former workers of First Bank facing charges of fraud, has revealed how the defendants connived with hackers to steal about N20bn from the bank.

The defendants, Ozioma Ugorji, 35; Ugwu Emeka, 32; and Obike Chukwuka, 38, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for allegedly attempting to steal N20bn from the bank.

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It was gathered that the defendants conspired to tap into the bank’s server to grant access to a syndicate.

They were, however, apprehended by the EFCC on March 6, 2021, following an intelligence report.

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During cross examination by one of the defence counsel, Uchenna Ozoagbo, a prosecution witness, Adamu Dahiru, told the court that the defendants were apprehended after one of them connected a laptop he collected from the syndicate to the bank’s server.

He said, “They conspired to give access to a fraudster to defraud the bank of over N20bn. The report we gathered was that the money was in the cloud and they needed to bring it out.

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“The second defendant (Emeka) had a meeting with the syndicate at a hotel.

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“When the first defendant (Ugorji) was arrested, he made a statement that he was introduced to the syndicate by the third defendant (Chukwuka) and that they had communicated with someone from the headquarters.

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“The second defendant made a statement that a laptop was given after several promises that he should connect the laptop to the bank’s system.

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“When he was on duty, he connected the laptop to the banking system, but during the connection, the I.P. of the laptop was picked up and the system was destroyed.”

The judge, S.O. Solebo, adjourned the case till October 5, 2022, for continuation of trial.

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