Justice Chudi Nwankwor of an Anambra State High Court, sitting in Ogidi, has sentenced a 39-year-old businessman, Ugwunwa Ikenna Stanislaus, to five years in prison without an option of fine for offences bordering on advance fee fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC South-East Zonal Office had brought him before the trial judge, on a six-count charge bordering on forgery, uttering and obtaining by false pretence.
He was alleged to have sometimes in 2011 presented himself as a representative of a Chinese company that deals in vehicle spare parts, and obtained the sum of N12.4million from the petitioner, to make supplies, which he never did. He instead diverted the money to personal use.
To further cover up his fraudulent action, he forged some Sales Confirmation receipts purported to have emanated from GUANGZHOU ZWEI IMPORT AND EXPORT CO. LTD, a Chinese Company with branch office in Lagos. All efforts to recover the money proved abortive.
In the course of investigations, he jumped the administrative bail granted him and absconded to Niger for more than a year before he was arrested by the Nigerian Police and handed over to EFCC, Enugu zonal office.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mainforce Adaka Ekwu, called five witnesses and tendered several exhibits to prove its case against him. On the other hand, the defence team, called three witnesses before the close of case and final written addresses.
Delivering judgement, Justice Nwankwor found him guilty of counts four, five and six, in which he was charged of contravening Sections 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and Section 443 (1) of the Criminal Code Law of Anambra State. Counts one, two and three in which he was charged for offences bothering on issuance of dud cheques, were dismissed by the judge.
In another related development, a Federal High Court in Enugu presided over by Justice N.I. Buba on Thursday, June 27, 2019 sentenced one Ijetemhon Benjamin to one month imprisonment for obtaining the sum of N680,000 (Six Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira) from a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology under false pretences.
The convict was also ordered to restitute the said amount to the complainant before the expiration of his jail term.
Ijetenhon, who is from Esan West Local Government of Edo state, was said to have impersonated the complainant’s cousin who was in the United States of America deceiving him via a phone call, that he was about to be repatriated to Nigeria, and needed the said sum for payment of residential papers.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Ajobiewe informed the court that the convict had changed his plea having become pertinent over his crime. He thereafter, asked that he be sentenced accordingly.