A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, yesterday, sentenced former Bank Manager, Asaba Branch, Onus Osagie Amahian, to five years imprisonment each on a 25-count charge of forgery and false entry into the Delta State Government payroll.

Justice T. B. Adegoke said the jail term on Amahian, who headed the Information Technology (IT) unit of the bank, was prosecuted by the Economy and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Benin City, Edo State Zonal office, would run concurrently.

He was charged for fraudulently inserting names and account numbers of his family members and friends into the Delta State Government’s payroll via Access Bank, and subsequently defrauding the Bank of N 9.3m.

The court held that Amahian between August and October 2011 at Access Bank Asaba Branch within the jurisdiction of the court stole N9.3m from the Delta State Government payroll (NEFT/ DTSG/TCO/ ACC) in Access Bank PLC and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390(6) of the Criminal Code Act CAP C38 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007.

“That Onus Osagie Amahian on August 26, 2011 within the jurisdiction of this court made false entry by transferring N450.9m out of Delta State Government payroll (NEFT/DTSG/ TCO/ ACC) through the bank into Osagie Blessing’s account knowing same to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(2)(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the Act,” the charge reads.

However, the defendant pleaded guilty to the 25 count charges, while the prosecution counsel, F. O. Dibang asked the court to convict and sentence him accordingly, saying the convict had made restitution to his victim.

But Amaghian’s counsel, Mrs. Itohan Richard pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the convict had been in prison custody since 2011 and had shown reasonable remorse for his action.

She further pleaded with the court to consider the convict, being a first time offender and a reformed person, who had pleaded guilty early enough to avoid taking the court through long process of prosecution.

Having heard both sides, Justice Adegoke sentenced Amaghian to five years imprisonment.