Police declare ‘fugitive’ First Bank employee, Tijani Muiz, ‘wanted’ over alleged N40 billion fraud 

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The Nigeria Police Force has declared wanted an employee of First Bank, named Tijani Miz Adeyinka, over an alleged fraudulent transfer of about N40 billion from customers’ accounts to different bank accounts. 

According to a Special Police Gazette Bulletin seen by Nairametrics, Tijani is wanted by the INTERPOL section of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID). A warrant of his arrest is said to have been issued by the Federal High Court of Abuja. 

Tijani, who was reported to be a manager on the electronic products team at First Bank, was authorized to process reversals for customers. He allegedly used that authority to instead credit customer reversal requests to a merchant he controlled. 

Criminal conspiracy 

In the Police gazette, Tijani was declared wanted for four offences including criminal conspiracy and cheating. The Police gazette reads in part,  

“The above-named person is hereby declared wanted by the police for the offences of Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Breach of trust, Cheating, and Banking fraud with spurious transfers to different bank accounts. The offences were committed at First Bank of Nigeria Limited between 2016 and 25th March 2024. 

“If seen, arrest and hand over to the nearest Police Station or the office of the AlG INTERPOL, National Central Bureau INTERPOL Section of Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Force CID Complex, Area 10 Garki, Abuja.”  

Earlier reports suggest that First Bank reported the incident to the Nigerian Police Force on March 25, 2024, and obtained three court orders between April 4–8, 2024 to block hundreds of bank accounts believed to have received the stolen funds. 

While the initial amount discovered to be diverted was around N12 billion, it was later discovered to be at around N40 billion, according to media reports. 

Bank employee involvement in fraud 

The case of the First Bank employee again highlights the concerns about the prevalence of bank staff getting involved in many of the frauds perpetrated across the banks.  

An analysis of data on fraud and forgeries in Nigerian banks released by FITC revealed that out of 270 bank staff members involved in various acts of fraud in 2023, just 54 faced terminations of employment. This marks a slight decrease from the 22% termination rate recorded in 2022. 

The reports by FITC highlight a concerning laxity in the enforcement of strict punitive measures against fraud within Nigerian banks, raising questions about the commitment of financial institutions to combating corruption and ensuring integrity in their operations. 

The FITC data noted a 47% reduction in outsider involvement in fraudulent activities, from 87,678 cases in 2022 to 46,226 in 2023. This suggests that improved security measures and fraud prevention strategies might be taking effect. 

However, insider (staff) involvement decreased only slightly by 5%, from 283 implicated staff in 2022 to 270 in 2023.

Despite the dip, the relative consistency in insider complicity highlights ongoing vulnerabilities within the banks’ internal systems and controls. 

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