Court freezes N1.1billion linked to Globus Bank ex-staff accused of hacking, stealing customers N3.5 billion

Court freezes N1.1billion linked to Globus Bank ex-staff accused of hacking, stealing customers N3.5 billion

Story Highlights

  • Federal High Court Abuja freezes N1.1 billion across multiple bank accounts linked to ex-staff of Globus Bank accused of hacking and stealing N3.5 billion from customers.
  • EFCC alleges that Babatunde Idris Olayiwola, Chinedu Ihuma, and Igwe George Benedict Obinna, former ICT staff of Globus Bank, orchestrated the fraud using insider knowledge and accessed bank accounts.
  • The investigation includes forensic analysis of computers and phones belonging to the suspects; suspects are reportedly abroad while legal actions proceed in Nigerian courts.

The Federal High Court Abuja has frozen about N1,198,911,864.72 domiciled in Fidelity Bank, GT Bank, Access Bank and Wema Bank following monies linked to ex-staff of Globus Bank alleged to have hacked into customers N3.5 billion transactions and stolen same.

The order was made against the following account names Haril Global Solutions Ltd, Abdullahi Abubakar Sadiq, Onobun Oluwaseun Olumide and Oluwaseun Adeniyi Afolabi, following a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as exclusively seen by Nairametrics on its expertise originating summons (dated January 12, 2024) and associated internal memos and intelligence reports.

The EFCC counsel, Olanrewaju Adeola, had asked the court to freeze all the accounts in the interest of justice and stop all outward payments, operations or transactions (including bill of exchange) on those accounts, in suit NO/FHC/CS/32/2024.

Tip Off

Before the EFCC swooped in, the management of Globus Bank had in 2023 raised alarm over the hacking of their systems indicting a few of their ex-staff who worked in the ICT department.

Based on documents seen by Nairametrics, the bank hurriedly approached a court in Lagos for freezing orders against several bank accounts allegedly associated with the suspects.

The bank then reported the development to the EFCC.

EFCC’s allegations against suspects

In EFCC’s affidavit in support deposed to by its Litigation Clerk,  Samson Oloje, the commission received an intelligence report about the activities of ex-staff of Globus Bank who allegedly hacked into the bank systems and stole the sum of N3.5000.000.00 of customers’ money.

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Upon receipt of the intelligence report, Globus Bank was invited wherein one Monday Edward, Head of Internal Audit/Chief Inspector of the Bank came and volunteered a statement confirming that the bank system was hacked.

He added that the intelligence report was assigned to the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the Commission and investigation thus far reveals that about three ICT staff of the bank perpetuated the fraud before leaving the institution.

He stressed that as pioneers and architects of the Globus Bank ICT software platform, Babatunde Idris Olayiwola, Chinedu Ihuma and Igwe George Benedict Obinna, who allegedly carried out the crime are abreast of the platform working details and knew how to access all the accounts of Globus Bank.

He stated in his affidavit,

“That one Babatunde Idris Olayiwola a former staff of Globus who is an ICT expert, who created all the software platforms the bank is using in its daily operational business introduced one Chinedu lhuma to Globus Bank when the former was about to exit the bank.

“That Chinedu Ihuma, a former staff of Globus Bank was also an ICT expert introduced to the Bank by Babatunde Olayiwole to oversee the ICT software operational platforms created by Babatunde Olayiwola for the Bank. He also introduced one Igwe George Benedict Obinna to the bank to take over and oversee the ICT software operational platforms when the former was about to exit the bank.

“That investigation reveals that Babatunde Idris Olayiwola, Chinedu Inuma and Igwe George Benedict Obinna hacked into the computer systems of Globus Bank and they transferred monies over Three Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N3. 500.000.000) from the account of the Bank into various account belonging to Haril Global Solutions Ltd and affiliate different bank accounts domicile in various banks across the country.

“That further investigation reveals that the fraud was perpetrated through the login details of Igwe George Benedict Obinna which he shared with the duo of Babatunde Idris Olayiwola and Chinedu Ihuma.”

Oloje stated that sequel to the findings of the investigations, all bank accounts related to the fraud were requested via investigation activities letters to banks concerned wherein evidence of receipt of funds was established.

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The EFCC staff also informed the court that Globus Bank management earlier approached the Federal High Court, Lagos to place a Post No Debit (PND) order on the bank accounts where the monies had been diverted, in order to prevent the depletion of the funds in the accounts.

Furthermore, he informed the court that the computers and telephone device of Igwe George Benedict Obinna has been sent for forensic analysis to know the extent of the involvement of Babatunde Idris, Olayiwola Chinedu Ihuma and Igwe George Benedict Obinna in the illegal activities.

“During the course of the investigation, the prime suspect, Igwe George Benedict Obinna was arrested and interviewed and made a statement to the effect of his dealing with the perpetuation of the fraud,” the EFCC stated.

The EFCC asked the court to grant its request as not granting it would jeopardize the ongoing investigation into the intelligence report received by the commission.

On January 23, 2024, Justice Inyang Ekwo freezed the accounts in dispute and adjourned for the EFCC to provide reports of the final outcome of its investigation.

More insights

As seen on several court documents, Globus Bank, on December 21, 2023, obtained an order from the Federal High Court Lagos freezing the bank accounts associated with the suspects.

As gathered from the EFCC intelligence documents, the 2 principal actors and ex-staff of Globus Bank, (Idris Olayiwola and Chinedu) are both believed to be in the United Kingdom.

Nairametrics also reliably gathered that the suspects that the EFCC is probing have instituted a matter against the Commission and Globus Bank at the High Court of Justice, Maitama FCT Abuja in suit no: CV/1841/24.

They seek to quash the legal moves made by the bank and EFCC.

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