A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ganiu Ajisafe, on Monday, explained to a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, how one Vincent Ayewah connived with his siblings and friends to allegedly defraud a foundation, Rose of Sharon Foundation, owned by a business tycoon, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, of N3m.
Ajisafe, an operative with the anti-graft commission, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. M. D. Aliu, told the court that Ayewah, an employee of the foundation, who reports directly to the project officer, connived with his two siblings and friends to forge the identity card of the beneficiaries of the foundation, so as to divert the said sum to themselves.
He stated that in the course of their investigation, letters of investigating activities were written to Fidelity Bank and Stanbic IBTC.
He added that Ayewah’s house was searched and one Mr. George, who was the maker of the forged I.D card as well as the fake I.D cards and the system used were recovered.
“Vincent connived with his siblings, who were also beneficiaries at the foundation and friends to forge the I.D. card of the foundation with different names to defraud the organisation,” Ayewah said.
Ayewah was arraigned alongside his two siblings, Florence Ayewah, Emmanuel Ayewah alongside his friends – Onuwa David, Okoronkwo Chikadibia, Ehizibolo George and Chinyere Awanah – on 28 counts bordering on conspiracy, stealing, forgery and impersonation.
According to the petition written to the EFCC, Alakija said the foundation received complaints from some of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s scholarship awards regarding their unpaid school fees.
She added that she instructed the project officer to investigate the complaints and it revealed that Ayewah had been fraudulently misappropriating the funds meant for widows and orphans.
According to her, Ayewah confessed to the crime and promised not to do so again but he continued stealing and graduated to forging the cheques of the foundation’s Stanbic IBTC Bank account.
The presiding Judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, adjourned till June 1, 2017, for continuation of trial.