Justice Jane Inyang of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has convicted and sentenced an ex banker, Felix David Diete to four years imprisonment, for stealing the sum of N 2, 000, 000, 00 (Two Million Naira only).
He was jailed on Monday, January 11, 2021 after four years of diligent prosecution by the Port Harcourt zonal office of The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The convict was arraigned in January, 2017 on three-count charges bordering on stealing, contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b) (8) and 9 of Criminal code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 read along with Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act CAP B3 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 2007.
One of the three count read:
“That you Felix Diete sometime in September 2016 at Port Harcourt within the judicial division of this Honorable Court being an employee of First City Monument Bank did fraudulently steal the sum of Two Million Naira (N 2, 000,000 00) only, property of Ukenna Ngozi Godswill, a customer of First City Monument Bank and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383 and punishable under 390 (6) (b)( 8) and 9 of Criminal Code CAP C- 38 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 read along with Section 1(1)(d) of the Failed Bank(Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Bank Act CAP B3 of the revised edition (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 2007.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges. His plea prompted the prosecuting counsel, Adebayo Soares to prepare a ground for trial which lasted four years, resulting in his conviction.
In his judgment on Monday, Justice Inyang said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt on count one and convicted and sentenced Diete to four years imprisonment on the count. The judge, however, discharged him on count 2 and 3 on the grounds that he denied ever seeing the other two customers who came and testified as pw2 and pw3.
Diete’s journey to the Correctional Centre started sometimes on September, 2, 2016, when three customers of First Monument City Bank (F.C.M.B) complained that they gave the convict the sum of N6million to deposit into their accounts but only deposited N4million and made away with N2million.