More facts have emerged on how Mr. Michael Obasuyi Osasogie, Managing Director, Smartmicro Systems Limited defrauded FirstBank to the tune of N11 billion.
According to the Punch Newspaper, in 2012, Smartmicro Systems Limited had approached E-Tranzact for the deployment of bulk purchase solution called “Corporatepay” to facilitate payment of salaries of Delta State employees in microfinance banks. It was alleged that E-Tranzact also configured an additional outbound fund transfer solution called “Fundgate” in 2017, which required SmartMicro to maintain a pre-funded settlement account with FirstBank for settlement of account it had initiated.
FirstBank sometime in March 2018, raised an alarm that the settlement account was in debit to the tune of N11 billion. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in April arrested Osasogie for alleged offenses bordering on cybercrime and money laundering.
Consequently, Osasogie was arraigned alongside his firms, Platinum Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society, SmartMicro Systems Limited and Platinum Smart Cruise Motors Limited on May 24, 2018 before Justice Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja on a 14 charges bordering on stealing to the tune of N11 billion.
The Court Ruling
He pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him and later entered into plea bargain.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Mojisola Dada convicted the defendant on all the counts and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment. The Judge also ordered the forfeiture of defendant’s 116 buses, 20 properties and monies in various accounts to FirstBank.
At the symbolic handover of the seized properties held in one of the forfeited houses at Osapa London, Lekki, Lagos, Kaina Garba, Head Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Management Unit of the EFCC, Lagos office, handed over the documents and keys to the forfeited properties to Gabriel Edobor, Head, Remedial and Classified Assets Management Department of FirstBank and Eme Godwin, Group Head, Legal Unit, E-transact.
Recall that the Central Bank had in May this year ordered some senior officials of the payment processor e-Tranzact Plc to step down to allow for full investigation.