An Ekiti High Court, on Monday, sentenced 40-year-old Sade Otenuga to 12 years imprisonment for defrauding the Deeper Life Bible Church of N620,000.
The court held that Sade deceived the church into paying her the money on the pretext that she owned a dilapidated structure in Ado-Ekiti which the church could buy and convert the land to better use.
The court also held that a pastor in the church, Oso Olugbenga, transferred the money to Sade’s bank account in two electronic transfers on April 6 and April 8, 2021.
Sade faced a two-count of Advance Fee Fraud and Stealing punishable under the laws of Ekiti State.
Testifying before the court earlier, Pastor Olugbenga said: “The church decided to buy the building, as it had become hideouts for criminals in the area.
“The convict also gave the church instruction to remove the building on the land, knowing full well that she was not the rightful owner.
“All efforts made to recover the money after the church discovered fraud in the transaction proved abortive.’’
Led in evidence before the court, Sade confessed to have committed the offence.
To prove the case against Sade, Police prosecutor, Samson Osobu, called three witnesses and tendered three exhibits including N100,000 cash recovered from the convict.
Sade’s counsel, Yinka Opaleke, did not call any witness, but pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
Delivering judgment, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye said there was prescribed mandatory sentence for the offence and the court had no discretionary power to exercise in the matter.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to seven years imprisonment in count one (Fraud) and five years imprisonment in count two (Stealing) with N20,000 option of fine.
“The sentences are to run concurrently,’’ Justice Ogunmoye said.
Court Jails UK Ex-convict One Year For Defrauding Hotel
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, on Friday sentenced a United Kingdom ex-convict, Ahmed Adebola, to one year imprisonment for defrauding Radisson Blu Hotel of N4.4 million.
Justice Dada sentenced the defendant after he pleaded guilty to an amended one count of obtaining by false pretence, offence which contravenes Section 312 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had, on May 30, charged the convict on an amended one count of obtaining by false pretence.
The EFCC counsel, Ahmed Yerima, said that the Radisson Blu Hotel Management wrote a petition against the defendant to the commission, after he defrauded the hotel of the sum of N4.4million.
The prosecution submitted that the EFCC received a report from the hotel sometime in December 2020 and alleged that the defendant, who had lodged in their facility, off and on, made payments through credit cards and American Express in favour of the hotel and the payments were recalled by the unified payment system.
Yerima said, “Based on the information gotten between December 15 and 16, 2020, the defendant checked into the hotel again and was arrested based on the earlier allegations against him.
“A search was conducted on him and nine different credit cards, bearing different names, were recovered from him in which six out of the nine were American Express.
“Two United Kingdom driver licences were recovered from him at the point of arrest, all of which contained the same information, including the picture of the defendant and the only difference was the name.
“The defendant said that the cards were given to him by one Jim Collins, whom he met in the UK and he was aware that the credit cards were not legally issued and that he did not know the owners of the card.”
The prosecution further said that an investigation was extended to the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom to confirm the authenticity of the cards, the driver licences and the criminal record of the defendant, if any existed.
“The team received a response from the NCA stating that the driver licences were forged documents, including the credit card.
“The NCA also said that the defendant was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in the UK for offences bordering on fraudulent bank card, motoring offences and others which later resulted in his deportation,” the prosecution said.
Delivering judgement, Justice Dada sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment.
Dada said, “The defendant is hereby sentenced to one year jail term, having been on bail till now or pay an option of fine of N2 million.
“All the items recovered from him is hereby forfeited to the Federal Government and must write an understatement never to go back to the same crime again.”
Nigerian Jailed 235 years For N525m, €64,000 Fraud, Loses Lekki Houses
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”.
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”.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Affirms Ex-bank Boss’ Conviction, Reduces Jail Term
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.
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.
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.
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