A Lagos State judge has found one Tunde Abdulramon guilty of stealing a whooping N64,420,900 from his former boss, Constance Obi, over a four year period as her Cashier.
Mrs Obi is the Managing Director and CEO of Prime Grocers International Limited, a company selling wholesale and retail consumer goods in Oke Arin, Lagos.
The charges were preferred and the convict arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC since August 19, 2013, on 11 counts of stealing and fraudulent false accounting against his former boss in contravention of Sections 390 and 335 (d) of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2003.
Mr Tunde Abdulramon, who was a cashier at Prime Grocers from 2009 to 2012 used the trust of his office and position to delete invoices raised by sales representatives from customers on the company’s computer software system and diverted the payments to his personal account.
The company got a tipoff when Tunde began to acquire properties and proceeded to take a new wife. He then even opened a similar line of business as his company for his wife.
Prime Grocer boss, Mrs Obi, testified in court that an anonymous caller tipped her off in November 2012 to check her company records and inventory. Then three days later, the convict surprisingly tendered his resignation which she promptly rejected and proceeded to report to authorities for investigation.
A computer forensic and audit trail of the computer systems tendered in court revealed the pattern of crime including deleting invoices and funneling payments outside of the designated company bank accounts.
The convict in his defense pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
But in her ruling Justice Raliat Adebiyi said she was convinced the convict was guilty of the crime alleged by the prosecution and the evidence from the prosecution and the complainant were convincing beyond reasonable doubt.
“Abdulramon took advantage of the level of the trust reposed by the chief executive officer of the company (complainant)”, she said, “The offense was also committed continuously and repeatedly for over a period of four years.
“The court finds the level of culpability of the convict to be high. As regards the harm caused, the court finds that the acts of the convict ought to have caused a degree of significant economic loss to his employer although the employer appeared not to have realized this for four years.
“The amount stolen was of significant value and the convict was also involved in conducting a similar kind of business to that of his employer, whilst still in employment therefore creating a conflict of interest”.
The judge ordered that all properties acquired by the convict be disposed and the proceeds used to repay the complainant.
She further handed down to the convict a two and half year time in jail.
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