A branch manager with a popular retail store, Addide, Samson Oluwaseyi, has been arrested by the police in Lagos for allegedly forging a discharge certificate of the National Youth Service Corps and a statement of result of the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa.
The 36-year-old Gbongan, Osun State indigene, was alleged to have defrauded Addide of N7.79m during a 10-month period.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the fraud was detected during an audit of the company’s account.
Our correspondent was told that managers usually deposited proceeds from sales in designated banks with the help of escorts.
Tellers of such transactions were then sent to the store’s head office at Gbagada.
The General Manager of Addide, Adeola Adeshina, alleged that Oluwaseyi usually deposited less than his actual sales and doctored the tellers to cover up the fraud.
He said, “We have about 44 outlets and he was the manager of one of our stores in Akute. After sales every day, as the manager, he would take the money to the bank with the help of the escort team, count it and deposit it. It is the teller that comes to the head office that shows the amount paid into the company’s account.
“But he was altering the tellers. If he was to deposit N290,000, for instance, he would deposit N210,000. He would then alter the teller by changing the ‘1’ to ‘9’. When we did an audit, we found out he had embezzled N7.7m.
“When the audit department saw that, he was summoned to explain himself. He, however, stopped coming to work and ran away.”
Our correspondent was told that the case was reported at the Pedro Police Station, which arrested the suspect’s father, who was his guarantor.
The father was said to have led representatives of the company and the police to his house in Ogun State.
“He was not around when we got there. When we called him on the telephone, he did not respond. The police then lay in ambush at his house. As he was coming home around 9pm that day, he was arrested.
“When we queried him on where the money was, he could not say. The police at Pedro then transferred the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba,” Adeshina said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that in the course of investigation, the police searched the house of the father of two and found the NYSC certificate and statement of result alleged to have been forged by the suspect.
He was subsequently arraigned before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court on three counts of stealing, fraud and forgery.
The charges read, “That you, Samson Oluwaseyi, between April 1, 2018, and February 4, 2019, on Dahomey Street, Gbagada, Lagos State, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did steal the sum of N7,791,917, property of Addide Limited, represented by one Yisa Adeshina, thereby committing an offence.
“That you, Samson Oluwaseyi, did knowingly forge a Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa Statement of Result, dated January 5, 2005, and a National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate, dated March 25, 2009.
“That you, Samson Oluwaseyi, between April 1, 2018 and February 4, 2019, did fraudulently alter Zenith Bank tellers written in the name of Addide Limited, while working as a manager of the Addide Store.”
The police prosecutor, Modupe Olaluwoye, said the offences were punishable under sections 287 (7), 365, and 337 (c) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial.
The Chief Magistrate, Oluwatoyin Oghere, admitted him to bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties in like sum.
According to the chief magistrate, the sureties must be resident in Lagos with evidence of tax payment to the state government.
The case was adjourned till June 26, 2019.