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House passes 20-year jail bill for fraudulent bank staff on second reading

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives passed a bill on second reading to impose 20 years in prison on bank employees involved in fraudulent activities on behalf of customers.

The bill, when it becomes law, would allow forfeiture of excess assets or their cash equivalent to the federal government, if convicted.

The Bill titled “The ETC Bank Employees (Asset Declaration) Amendment Act Cap B1 LFN 2011 and for Allied Matters 2020”, is sponsored by Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waiver.

Leading the debate on its general principles, Waive said the bill was intended to make the punishment for fraud perpetrated by bank employees more punitive in order to deter other bank staff.

Renunciation says: “Let it be enacted by the National Assembly, The bank clerk etc.” (declaration of assets) The CAP Bl LFN 2011 law carrying this bill, known as the main law, is amended as follows: in paragraph (1) by replacing the existing words by the following words in place of them: “The general manager of each bank shall once a year, but no later than January 7, submit to the competent authority a list of all employees who have joined or left the employment of the bank during the preceding 12 months expiring on December 31 of the previous year.

“Section 7 of the Principal Act is amended in subsection (2) by replacing the existing words with the following words in place of them: “Any employee guilty of an offense under subsection (0) or section shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for twenty years and shall, in addition, forfeit the excess assets or their cash equivalent to the Federal Government.

Contribution in support of the bill, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau) said transactions between bank officials and customers are based on trust and everyone knows how some bank officials take this position of trust for granted.

The legislator said that under different circumstances, bank officials suffocate and frustrate their customers for no reason as there is no legal framework to bring them in order.

He said, “So, Mr. Chairman, I think we shouldn’t even be interested in 20 years. In my opinion, it should be more. If I keep my money in your bank fraudulently some bank officials have conspired with fraudsters to take money from customer accounts and again they are under oath but they are leaking information about some customers who don’t not play their own cards.

“This bill, which aims to modify this framework, is relevant. We should also look at those 20 years in a very clean perspective so that if the bill passes, it will serve as a deterrent to bank officials who take this trust between themselves and customers for granted.

For his part, the Hon. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) was of the opinion that the bill would restore confidence in the banking sector, adding that in view of the ongoing fraud, there is a need to strengthen the banking sector.

According to him, “the general manager, frauds as we read, they will tell you that a general manager is richer than the bank, they will tell you that a member of the board of directors is present and that the board of directors and the owners of the banks are employees of the Bank. Some so on. He gave a narrow description of the employee of the bank. The directors of the banks are to be interpreted for this purpose as employees of the banks. You see directors access unsecured loans If you apply this law strictly, directors are employees of the bank, bank owners or anyone related to the bank should be considered an employee of the bank.