A prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adamu Dahiru, has told the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja at a resumed trial how three former employees of First Bank of Nigeria conspired with hackers to steal N20 billion from the bank.
The trio are facing charges bordering on attempted fraud before the court.
The defendants, Ozioma Ugorji, 35; Ugwu Emeka, 32; and Obike Chukwuka, 38, were arraigned by the EFCC on a charge of attempting to steal N20 billion from the bank.
Information the anti-graft agency filed before the court indicates that the defendants conspired to hack into the bank’s server to grant access to a syndicate.
Following credible intelligence, the operatives of the Commission arrested the suspects on March 6, 2021.
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, one of the defence lawyers, Uchenna Ozoagbo, cross-examined Dahiru in his deposed affidavit.
He told the court that the defendants were apprehended after one of them connected a laptop he collected from the syndicate to the bank’s server.
He said, “They conspired to give access to a fraudster to defraud the bank of over N20 billion. The report we gathered was that the money was in the cloud and they needed to bring it out.
“The second defendant (Emeka) had a meeting with the syndicate at a hotel.
“When the first defendant (Ugorji) was arrested, he made a statement that he was introduced to the syndicate by the third defendant (Chukwuka) and that they had communicated with someone from the headquarters.
“The second defendant made a statement that a laptop was given after several promises that he should connect the laptop to the bank’s system.
“When he was on duty, he connected the laptop to the banking system, but during the connection, the I.P. (Internet Protocol address) of the laptop was picked up and the system was destroyed.”
The judge, S. O. Solebo, adjourned the case till October 5, 2022, for the continuation of the trial.