Justice R. Irene Ifijeh of the Edo State High Court sitting in Ubiaja on Tuesday January 26, 2021 conviçted and sentenced one Matthew Aluya to seven years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 for offences bordering on stealing by conversion.
Aluya was arraigned by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 6, 2017 on one count charge bordering on stealing by conversion contrary to Section 383(2)(F) of the Bendel State Criminal Code Law (As applicable in Edo State ) 1976 and punishable under Section 390(9)of the same Law.
The charge reads: “that you Matthew Aluya sometimes on the 28th of July , 2017 within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Edo State while being the branch manager of Betowan Nigeria Limited, situate at Uromi, Edo State fraudulently converted the sum of N7,007,447.5 (seven million, seven thousand, four hundred and seventy two naira, five kobo) the proceeds of sales of recharge cards, property of Betowan Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence.”
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge when it was read to him, setting the stage for trial. In the course of trial, the prosecution counsel, Moses Arumemi, called two witnesses and prayed the court to convict the defendant based on the testimony of the witnesses.
The defence counsel, R. H. Orukpe however urged the Court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant had restituted some of the money to the victim.
Justice Irele Ifijeh sentenced the defendant to seven years imprisonment with the option of fine of N200,000.