Criminal Law

First Bank Staff Unmask Fake Army General

Real name: Hassan Kareem Ayinde.

A Compliance Officer with First Bank Plc, Chris Ekpe, has unveiled before an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, the real names of the alleged fake Army General, Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun as Hassan Kareem Ayinde.

The bank staff also narrated to court how the alleged fake army General, Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, perfected his change of name before swindled a businessman of N270m.

Ekpe, while being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, confirmed to the court that his bank received a notary publication dated December 20, 2016 with a letter of change of account name from the defendant on February 2, 2017.

The witness told the court that the real name of the alleged fake Army General name was Hassan Kareem Ayinde.

He noted that the upon receiving the change of name documents, the bank thereafter changed his account name from Hassan Kareem Ayinde to Olusegun Abiodun Bolarinwa.

Mr. Oyedepo asked him what is the account balance of the defendant as at the time of the change of account name, the witness revealed that it was N1, 319.04.

Giving evidence further, the First Bank compliance officer revealed how huge sums started coming into the defendants account from the complainant account domiciled in UBA and how it was utilised for various personal needs ranging from debit alert of boutiques and ATM withdrawal.

Bolarinwa’s counsel, Kayode Lawal didn’t cross examined the witness noting that there is no ambiguous in his testimony adding that it’s based on document.

Subsequently, the prosecutor tenders EFCC letter of request sent to the bank, Certificate of Compliance and Identification, the bank response letter, and the account records of the defendants.

The documents was admitted in evidence as exhibits following none opposition from the defendants counsel.

Mr. Oyedepo also leading the third prosecution witness, a United Bank of Africa, UBA Relationship Manager, Emmanuel Emaikwo, affirmed before the court transactions between defendant and complainant. He tendered documents to back up his oral testimony before the court.

Thereafter, Mr Oyedepo sought for adjournment to bring the Investigating Officer and a representative of the Nigeria Army to lay bare their testimonies before the court.

The presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned till Friday this week for continuation of trial.

The fake Army General was charged by th EFCC on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents, and possession of documents containing false pretence values N266,500,000.

He was arraigned on April 11, 2022 on offences contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.

According to the charge: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, between 15th June, 2020 and 31st December 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N111,400,000 from a company under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false.”

The charge further reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, sometime in May 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged LETTER OF APPOINTMENT AS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF dated 20th May 2020 and purported the said document to have emanated from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which document you know to be false.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

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