The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC, on Monday arraigned one Paul Onwughalu before Justice S.S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on one count charge bordering on failure to conduct due diligence in financial transactions.
Onwughalu, a former employee of Union bank, allegedly failed to conduct due diligence in a mega scam that rocked the bank on 10 January, 2013 when some fraudsters hacked into its data base and pulled out hundreds of millions of naira.
The accused allegedly failed to conduct due diligence on Dan Kawu Bureau De Change’s account domiciled in Union Bank, before confirming and authorizing the payment of N450, 000,000 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) to the company.
The charge reads, “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 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 Eco Bank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and Dankawu Bureau De Change. ”
When the charge was read, the defendant pleaded not guilty.
Based on the plea of the accused, the prosecution counsel, Fadeke Giwa prayed the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendant in prison custody pending trial.
But the defence counsel, O. Fagbemi informed the court that he had already filed an application for bail.
Justice Ogunsanya adjourned the case to February 28, 2014 for hearing on the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kirikiri maximum prison.