COURT FREEZES 1.198BIL NAIRA OVER 3.5BIL STOLEN FROM GLOBUS BANK BY EX STAFF

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the freezing of approximately N1.198 billion held in various bank accounts following an investigation into alleged fraudulent activities by former employees of Globus Bank. The ex-staff are accused of hacking into the bank’s systems and stealing N3.5 billion from customer accounts.

Issued by Justice Inyang Ekwo on January 23, 2024, the court order targets accounts belonging to Haril Global Solutions Ltd, Abdullahi Abubakar Sadiq, Onobun Oluwaseun Olumide, and Oluwaseun Adeniyi Afolabi. This action was prompted by a request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), supported by internal memos and intelligence reports.

Background of the Case

In 2023, Globus Bank raised an alarm about a breach in their systems, implicating several former ICT department staff. The bank quickly sought freezing orders from a Lagos court for accounts allegedly linked to the suspects and reported the incident to the EFCC.

The EFCC’s investigation, detailed in an affidavit by its Litigation Clerk, Samson Oloje, revealed that the suspects—identified as Babatunde Idris Olayiwola, Chinedu Ihuma, and Igwe George Benedict Obinna—allegedly orchestrated the fraud. These individuals, who were instrumental in developing Globus Bank’s ICT infrastructure, reportedly transferred over N3.5 billion from the bank’s accounts to various accounts associated with Haril Global Solutions Ltd.

Details of the Investigation

According to Oloje’s affidavit, the fraud was executed using the login credentials of Igwe George Benedict Obinna, shared with Olayiwola and Ihuma. Upon discovering the fraudulent activities, Globus Bank immediately sought judicial intervention to freeze the relevant accounts, preventing further depletion of funds.

The EFCC corroborated the bank’s findings, leading to the arrest and interrogation of Igwe George Benedict Obinna. Obinna’s computers and phone have been sent for forensic analysis to determine the extent of the involvement of all parties in the fraud.

Court Proceedings and Future Actions

The EFCC’s counsel, Olanrewaju Adeola, successfully argued for the freezing of the accounts to ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigation. Justice Ekwo has adjourned the case pending the submission of the final investigation report by the EFCC.

In a parallel development, the primary suspects, Idris Olayiwola and Chinedu Ihuma, are reported to be in the United Kingdom. They have initiated legal proceedings against the EFCC and Globus Bank in the High Court of Justice, Maitama, Abuja, seeking to overturn the legal actions taken against them.

Conclusion

This case underscores the serious measures taken by Nigerian authorities to combat financial crimes and protect the integrity of the banking system. The ongoing investigation by the EFCC and the judicial actions taken so far reflect a determined effort to bring the perpetrators to justice and recover the stolen funds.

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