$111.5m fraud: CBN official testifies against Stanley Okafor

The trial of Stanley Okafor and Larbrador Shipping Services Limited continued on Thursday before Justice O. A. Taiwo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

Okafor was arraigned for $111,500,000 fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He first appeared in court on November 26, 2021 for forgery, attempt to obtain by false pretence, and using as genuine a false document contrary to Section 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

Between November 2019 and January 2020, the defendant and Larbrador “attemped to obtain $111,500,000” from a bank after falsely representing that CitiBank was already in receipt of the sum.

Okafor pleaded “not guilty” to all the counts prompting the commencement of trial.

Olugbemileke Akinkunmi, Head, Funds Management Office, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), testified on the said SWIFT message documents traced to the defendant.

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Responding to prosecuting counsel, E. E. Iheanacho, the witness said he monitors payments and receipts of foreign currencies into bank accounts via the SWIFT Network.

Akinkunmi recalled that the EFCC wrote to the CBN to verify the authenticity or not of some SWIFT correspondences.

“My Director minuted it to me to give my expert opinion”, he said.

“I reviewed the attached SWIFT copies and the summary of my review was that the SWIFT messages were not authentic.”

The official identified the response of the CBN to the EFCC inquiry as Exhibit B, and the EFCC letter to the CBN as Exhibit C.

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