Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Man gets 162 years in prison for N12 million fraud


A convicted fraudster, Ikechukwu Ogbu, was sentenced to 162 years in prison by a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday for defrauding a former manager of the defunct BankPHB now Keystone Bank, Mr. Patrick Edetchukwu, of the sum of N12.3m.
The convict, who is in his mid-50’s and presently serving a jail term for two separate offences, duped Edetchukwu of the said sum on the pretence that he was being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and needed some money to give the anti-graft officials before he could be released.

The convict had claimed that he was detained by the EFCC for allegedly carrying what he called, $2.5m hard currency into Nigeria sometime ago.
Ogbu was charged alongside Chuks Ibebugbu for conspiring to defraud Edetchukwu.
The two were arraigned by the EFCC on June 10, 2011 on 10 counts bordering on obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu, while delivering her judgment, expressed her disapproval of the prison officials that aided the crime by allowing Ogbu to open a bank account and wear regular clothes instead of prison uniform.
“By allowing the defendant wear mufti clothes, the Kirikiri Maximum Prison facilitated the commission of the crime,” she said.
Pronouncing the sentence, Justice Okunnu said, “I have listened to the plea of counsel. I have noted that names of a lot of notable personalities were put on the line during the period when this crime was committed, and I have also noted that the defendant has remained unrepentant.
“I hereby sentence the defendant to 18 years each on counts two to 10.”
Earlier, before the sentence was passed, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Nnaemeka Omewa, had requested for a stiff sentence for Ogbu.
“In just two years of his serving his prison term, he committed this heinous crime; imagine what will occur when he is allowed to live freely in the society.
“I hereby urge Your Lordship to pass maximum sentence on the first defendant,” Omewa said.
However, counsel for the convict, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, in his plea for mercy, asked for a light sentence, saying that Ogbu was now a changed man.
“I pray that the court should temper justice with mercy, the defendant has been in custody since 2009.
“His wife died in 2014, he has three children who are of tender age, his wings have been clipped and he is now a changed man,” Ajanaku said
Okunnu, however, discharged and acquitted Ibebugbu due to insufficient evidence provided by the prosecution during the trial.

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