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First Bank manager disappears After Diverting ₦40 Billion

First Bank manager disappears After Diverting ₦40 Billion

First Bank of Nigeria has launched legal proceedings to recover a significant sum allegedly embezzled by one of its employees. The bank, with a market capitalization of ₦829 billion, reported the embezzlement to the Nigerian Police Force on March 25, 2024, and subsequently obtained court orders to freeze accounts linked to the misappropriated funds.

The employee implicated in the scandal, Tijani Muiz Adeyinka, served as a manager on the electronic products team at First Bank’s head office in Iganmu, Lagos. Adeyinka, now on the run, is accused of diverting approximately ₦40 billion (around $29 million) over two years. He allegedly exploited his position to process fraudulent customer reversal requests to a merchant account he controlled.

The scheme remained undetected for an extended period due to Adeyinka’s authority to finalize transactions without needing additional approvals. The fraud came to light following a customer complaint that led to an internal review by the bank’s control unit, uncovering numerous suspicious transactions.

In response, First Bank alerted the police and took legal measures to mitigate the financial damage. The bank swiftly secured three court orders between April 4 and April 8, 2024, to freeze hundreds of accounts believed to have received the diverted funds. Among these accounts, 98 were identified as primary beneficiaries, including one belonging to Adeyinka’s wife, with numerous second-tier accounts also implicated.

Court documents reveal that Adeyinka’s fraudulent activities involved transferring funds to his wife’s account at Zenith Bank, which then dispersed the money across 34 additional accounts. These accounts further funneled the funds to 1,190 other accounts, creating a complex web designed to obscure the origin of the stolen money.

First Bank, in a statement to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police dated May 10, 2024, affirmed its commitment to working closely with law enforcement agencies to unravel the circumstances surrounding the fraud and to apprehend all individuals involved.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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