Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos has sentenced Obaro James Omemi, Ehizojie Slyvanus Omokhuale and Eghosa Atekha Osunde to one year in prison each for an offence bordering on the transfer of criminal proceeds to a nominee to the tune of $215,084.75.
The convicts alongside a company, Seaonus Global Logistics Limited, were first arraigned on November 14, 2019, on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of $348,277.75 and N817,345,302.00.
The defendants initially pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, however, they were re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, February 3, 2020, on an amended one-count charge of transfer of criminal proceeds to a nominee to the tune of $215,084.75, after which they changed their plea of “not guilty” to “guilty”.
The charge reads: “That you, Obaro James Omemi, Ehizojie Slyvanus Omokhuale, Eghosa Osunde, between 1st of January 2017 and 27th day of July, 2019 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, retained in your control the aggregate of $215,084.75 (Two Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Eighty-four Dollars, Seventy-Five cents), in your Guaranty Trust Bank account, which you knew to be proceeds of various internet and cybercrimes.”
During the proceedings, counsel to the prosecution, S.O. Daji filed a review of the facts and pleaded with the court to sentence the defendants according to the terms of the plea bargain filed on November 27, 2019, which included that the second defendant would return the sum of N30m (Thirty Million Naira) within six months of release from custody, while also reporting to the EFCC every month.
Delivering judgment, Justice Taiwo convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year in prison each, with an option of N350,000.00k (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).
Justice Taiwo also ordered that the Toyota Prado with registration number EKY-169-EZ, Toyota Highlander with registration number EKY-678-ET, Mercedes Bens C300 with registration number EKY-680-EW, Toyota Camry AKD-228-EA, one Apple Macbook Pro Laptop, one iPhone X, one iPhone 6 and the sum of N10,000,000 draft raised in favour of EFCC recovered from the defendants be forfeited to the Federal Government to restitute the victim through the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI).