Ex-banker, Civil Servants in Court for Alleged Payroll Fraud

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Ex-banker, Civil Servants in Court for Alleged Payroll Fraud

Five individuals, four of whom are Federal Government’s employees have been arraigned for allegedly manipulating data in the Integrated Personal Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in their agencies to defraud the government.

Anthony Ogar (of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja), Joy Write (IPPIS Desk Officer in the ministry), Olanrewaju Babatunde Ladipo (of the Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency – NSRDA), Joshua Ojinimi Omachonu (also of NSRDA) and Samuel Akaolisa Enwerem (an ex-banker and businessman of Suit D1, Summit Villa Hotels and Suites, Life Camp Junction, Abuja) were arraigned on Monday.

They were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on an 11-count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/159/2020, filed on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) by Aminu Alilu of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

The defendants, whose alleged offences are said to be contrary to and punishable under the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.

Alilu, who led the prosecution team, did not object to the defendants’ ball application, following which Justice Ahmed Mohammed granted each of them bail at N10million with one surety in like sum, among other conditions.

Justice Mohammed gave the defence lawyers the option of undertaking to take custody of their clients pending when they are able to meet the bail conditions, failing which they should be remanded in prison until each of them meets the bail conditions.

The judge adjourned till October 20 for trial.

Some of the counts in the charge read:

*That you Anthony Ogar of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja; Olanrewaju Babatunde Ladipo of Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja; Samuel Akaolisa Enwerem of Suite D1, Summit Villa Hotels and Suites, Life Camp Junction, Abuja; Joshua Ojinimi Omachonu of Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja and Joy Wright (IPPIS) Desk Officer of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, did cause the loss of about N140million belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria by unlawfully inputting, migrating and reactivating several accounts of fictitious employees of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Integrated Personal Payroll System platform with the intent to unlawfully confer economic benefits on yourselves.

*That you Anthony Ogar of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja; Olanrewaju Babatunde Ladipo of Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja; Samuel Akaolisa Enwerem of Suite D1, Summit Villa Hotels and Suites, Life Camp Junction, Abuja; Joshua Ojinimi Omachonu of Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja and Joy Wright (IPPIS) Desk Officer of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, did cause the loss of N178, 597.92k, belonging to Juliana Abiola Oyedepo, an employee of the Federal Government by altering her salary Account No.26l2012614 domiciled with the Eco Bank P10 in the IPPIS platform and inputting another account NO. 3133414577 in her name domiciled with the First Bank Plc without her consent for the purpose of conferring economic benefits on yourselves.

*That you Joy Wright, (IPPIS) Desk Officer of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja and Anthony Ogar of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, sometimes in 2017 at Abuja, with intent to defraud, did manipulate the salary grade levels of five fictitious or unknown persons under the employment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the IPPIS platform with intent to overpay them and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14 (4) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act.

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