The convicts were then arraigned on November 19, 2009, by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on seven-count charges bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
The charges were amended on April 25, 2019.
Count four reads: “Odigboh Okechukwu and Chinyere Oti on or about the 23rd day of October, 2008 at Diamond Bank Plc, Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division did fraudulently steal the sum of Twenty Million Four Hundred And Thirty One Thousand Three Hundred And Forty Two Naira Five Kobo (N20,431, 342.05) property of Diamond Bank Plc by means of Diamond Bank Cheque No. 16216303 through an unfunded account in the name of Achufa Investment Limited operated by Odigboh Okechukwu and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 381(1) and punishable under Section 390( 9) of the Criminal Code CAP 37 Vol. II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their pleas led to a 10-year-long trial.
The prosecution called three witnesses and tendered 15 exhibits while the defence called three witnesses.
Delivering his judgment on Monday, Justice Iyayi- Lamikanra found the two defendants guilty of the charges and sentenced them to two years imprisonment each or an option of fine of N1 million each.
She also ordered the convicts to pay a sum of N25 million as restitution to Diamond Access Bank Plc.