Single Mum Arrested Over N3.8m... she says it’s for her upkeep

A 47-year-old single mother, Grace Cole, has been arrested by the police for allegedly embezzling funds belonging to the company she works for.

She was employed by Rab Oil as auditor in 2011. What happened?

It was learnt that in 2017, after an external auditing of the company’s branch offices, some amount of money was discovered missing.

It was learnt by The Punch that subsequent inconsistencies in the company’s account and outstanding debts by the auditor were recorded.

The General Manager, Kayode Soetan, said the station managers allegedly explained that the missing amount was given to Cole, which the company’s auditor admitted to.

In his statement to the police, Soetan said, “Sometime in 2016, the company did an audit of the company’s stations and discovered that about N2,353,545 was missing, The company discovered that Mrs Cole was supposed to remit N100,500 to me in December 2017 but failed to do. When we asked from the affected stations’ managers about the missing money, they all said that the company’s auditor collected the money from them.

“I confronted her about the money and she admitted collecting the money. Cole also embezzled about N410,400 in March; N301,200 in May and N70,000 in July 2018. It was also discovered recently that about N395,090 which the management said should be deposited into the company’s account was not deposited by Cole. She also has a balance of N220,000 staff loan that she has yet to be pay back to the company.

“After the company demanded the payment of the said N3,849,735, from Cole, she promised to pay and made about seven undertakings that the company’s money was in her possession.”

Cole, however, said she did not steal any money but used it to maintain herself as directed by the owner of the company.

The Osun State indigene, who also worked in the capacity of the company’s admin manager, said, “I joined the company in 2011. My boss came to my house in October 2012 and we started a relationship after which he said he would take care of me and my children because I am a single mother of four children.

“He promised to give me maintenance money and whenever I asked him for money he would say that I should take it from the money with me. He even built a house for me but I ran away from there when I could not cope with his demands. I resigned in 2014, but he sent people to beg me and I returned to the office.

“In March 2017, he directed that our account should be audited and it was discovered that I have taken some money for maintenance. He threatened me but with the help of his wife, who does not know what was going on between us, I wrote an undertaking and she stood as my guarantor and he allowed me to stay on the job.

“I did not steal his money, I was acting on the instruction that he gave. This money was for my upkeep as we agreed.”

Cole was arraigned before Ogba Magistrates’ Court for stealing.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The presiding magistrate, Mr A. A. Fashola, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N700,000 with two sureties each in like sum. She was remanded in prison pending when she will be able to meet the bail conditions.

The case was adjourned till January 16, 2019.