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COVID-19: Edo CJ Frees 11 Inmates From Correctional Centre

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The Chief Judge of Edo, Justice (Mrs) Esther Edigin on Monday ordered the release of 11 inmates from Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre, in Benin.

This happened during Justice Edigin maiden visit to correctional centres since she was sworn-in as Edo State Chief Judge November, last year.

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She noted, ” My visit is germane being part of urgent measures taken by stakeholders, especially in the Administration of Criminal Justice System, to ensure speedy decongestion of correctional centres, in view to the ravaging global Covid-19 pandemic.”

READ ALSO: IYC, NDDC Disagree Over N3.8bn Non-existing Contracts

Justice Edigin noted that the inmates were discharged and released unconditionally.

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Some of the inmates were, however, charged for conspiracy of armed robbery, breach of peace, operating illegal brothel, conduct likely to cause breach of peace, and conspiracy.

The inmates are a 42-year-old woman Angela Omieh, Patrick Odigie, Adoru Okwudili, Uchenna Obiako, Dennis Agbonkoonkon, Joseph Aniete, Philip Capele, Manaseh Gboko, Ayoba Stephen, Samson Alao, and Benjamin Simeon.

READ ALSO: Edo Govt Denies Central Hospital Closure, Says Fully Operational, Open To Patients

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The only woman, Omieh, released on health grounds, was accused of impersonating Nigerian Army and had spent five months and five days.

The other inmates were discharged and released unconditionally based on health grounds, some because they had spent more than the punishment provided if sentenced and others ‘No case files’.

On his part, the Deputy Controller of Oko Security Custodial Centre, Mr. Godwin Evboeruan, urged the Chief Judge to use her office to prevail on Gov. Godwin Obaseki to grant waiver to inmates to be treated free of charge in state owned hospitals.

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READ ALSO: Lockdown: Mobile Court Sentences 5 For Mask, Curfew Violation

He noted that most of the inmates in the correctional centres were indigents.

 

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Nigerian Jailed 235 years For N525m, €64,000 Fraud, Loses Lekki Houses

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Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo, has convicted and sentenced Scales Olatunji.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) labelled him “a notorious international fraudster”.

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The convict bagged 235 years imprisonment for internet fraud and money laundering.

Olatunji pleaded “not guilty” after arraignment in July 2019 on 45-count charges.

One reads: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola “M”, Meraiyebu Charles “M”(at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga “M”(at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele “M”(at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin “M”(at large), between January 2017 to October 2018 converted N525,172,580”.

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The theft of the funds, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), violated Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Also, Olatunji on or about May 15, 2018, sent electronic messages (email) using emailoffice01@aol.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch.

He impersonated Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanded and received €64,000.

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The offence negates offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

Delivering judgment, Justice Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45- counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

The judge said the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were consistent and the prosecution established his guilt.

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READ ALSO: N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

The prosecution was also able to establish the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges.

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.

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The sentence shall run from the date of arrest. The money in his account will be sent to the affected Norwegian citizens through the EFCC.

Olatunji’s properties in Lekki: House No. 6, Road 2 West-end Estate in Ikota and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate are to be sold and the proceeds restituted to the victims.

The EFCC commenced a probe after the convict was caught on March 20, 2019 at his Ikota residence. The action followed a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway.

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N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday affirmed the conviction of former Managing Director of defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for N25.7bn fraud but reduced his sentence of 12 years to six years.

The court also affirmed the conviction of Atuche’s co-convict Ugo Anyanwu, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the lower court for stealing and conspiracy to steal.

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Anyanwu’s jail term was also reduced to eight years.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting at Ikeja had on June 16, 2021, sentenced Atuche, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N25.7bn fraud in the bank.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: FG Reverses Nigeria’s Ban From Basketball Competition

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While his former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing and conspiracy to steal and Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth, was discharged and acquitted.

But dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, Atuche approached the court of Appeal to challenge the judgment.

Details later…

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Crime

Warri Chief Docked, Remanded In Edo Prison

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The police in Edo on Tuesday arraigned 54-year-old Chief Johnson Asteruleghe the Iyesere of Warri, before a Benin High Court, over alleged assault, malicious damage in Ologbo Dukedom, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

The defendant, Johnson Asteruleghe, the Iyatsere of Warri, is being tried on a seven -count charge of assault and malicious damage with charge No:B/Co 126/22

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Police Prosecutor, DPP, Okunbor Orobosa Esq. told the court that the defendant committed the offence on the 2nd day of February, 2022, at Ologbo in the Benin Judicial Division.

According to him, “You did conspire amongst yourselves to carry on warlike undertaking malicious damage, punishable under section 517 of the Criminal Code, cap.48.vol.11. laws of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976 as applicable in Edo state.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Warri, Benin Lawyers Worried Over Abduction Of Three Colleagues, Driver

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Okunbor urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, maintaining that he is fond of fermenting trouble when granted bail, citing previous criminal cases of murder against the defendant in which he was granted bail before he committed these offences.

The defendant’s Counsel, Eghedosa Imhandegbelo (SAN) in his oral bail application urged the court to grant the defendant bail.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

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The presiding judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba adjourned the case to 27th of June 2022 for hearing of application for bail.

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