Cybercrime: EFCC presents 3rd witness, evidence against 4 Fidelity Bank staff, another over alleged N874m fraud

*Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says its investigation revealed that ATM cards were linked to five Fidelity Bank’s customers’ ‘victimised accounts’ from which the suspects had withdrawn N874million at different times

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The ongoing trial of four staff of Fidelity Bank, Olusegun Babasola, Abisola Ahmed, Uchechukwu Uma, Jude Aphaeus, and a non-staff of the bank, Omidiji Joseph, for an alleged N874 million fraud before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos continued Thursday, March 3, 2022, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presenting its third witness and tendering more exhibit against the defendants, including a DVD of the bank’s CCTV footage.

It was gathered the defendants are being prosecuted by the EFCC on two counts for their various roles in the hacking of the bank’s database and cloning of over 22 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards used to steal and divert to personal use about N874million belonging to five of the bank’s corporate customers – American International Insurance Company Limited (AIICO), Interswitch, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Fidelity Bank Sinking Fund Account and FSL Securities Limited.

However, the suspects had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting their full-blown trial.

At Thursday’s proceeding, Chimdinma Peter, third prosecution witness, an operative of the EFCC, narrated to the Court the findings of the EFCC’s investigation into the purported fraud.

Led in evidence by Nnaemeka Omewa, the Prosecuting Counsel, the witness told the Court that the EFCC received a petition from Fidelity Bank on the alleged fraud and immediately swung into action.

Omewa stated: “Upon receipt, we commenced investigation into the alleged fraud, which we found out was perpetrated using the Postillion App.

“We accessed the banking app domiciled in the server to ascertain the IP address used.

“It pointed to a System domiciled at the Virtual Unit of the bank domiciled in Lagos.

“The System was identified and we found out it was used to de-link already existing ATM cards, and link them to some other accounts.”

According to him, investigation revealed that the ATM cards were linked to the five “victimised accounts” from which N874 million was withdrawn at different times.

The Prosecuting Counsel also said: “The System used was identified, and we observed that for it to be accessed, login details must be used.

“We found out that the profile used belonged to the third and fourth defendants.

“We reviewed the activities of the Virtual Unit and found out that three members of staff of the Unit also viewed the affected accounts prior to the withdrawals when they had no reason to do so.

“For the Virtual Unit of the bank to view an account, there must be a request from the Qserve, but a review for the period from 9th to 15th July 2019 did not reveal any request to the Virtual Unit of the bank.”

Testifying further, he noted that when the accounts were linked to the ATM cards, money was withdrawn in cash and also transferred to other bank accounts, including certain King Dommy Enterprise.

He said: “King Dommy Enterprise received several inflows of tranches of N908,000 totalling N136 million debited from FSL.

“From this, N50 million was transferred to the account of the fifth defendant, Omidiji Joseph Olanrewaju on 15th July, which was thereafter disbursed to different accounts including Findrex Aviation business school and Waltham BDC.”

EFCC’s Counsel Omewa also noted that the third and fourth defendants claimed ignorance of the use of their profile login details to access the Postillion App during the period the alleged fraud was perpetrated.

“The Application was used to increase the daily withdrawal limit from N150,000 to N100 million.”

Kindly Share This Story