A Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital has sentenced a welder, Olatunji Bangboye, to five years in prison for falsely obtaining the sum of N3.7 million from one Chinedu Okpara.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Uchena Agomoh found the suspect guilty of the three count charges levelled against Bangboye and subsequently sentenced him.
She said: “After listening carefully to submissions of both counsels in this hearing, there is no gainsaying that the convict is a first offender and he is remorseful.
“Learned counsel to the convict has submitted that he has domestic responsibility, having four children and aged parents. This is a great responsibility and therefore wonders what happened if the convict is away for too long.
“There is also evidence before this honourable court that the convict had refund the sum of N1 million through the police, out of the total contract sum; that shows he is remorseful and ready to restitute.
“The demeanour of the convict throughout the trial shows that he is remorseful. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Judge of Nigeria,(CJN) has urged judges to decongest correctional centres.
“Therefore, on count one, the convict is sentenced to two years in prison without an option of fine. On count two and three, he is sentenced to one year and six months on each count.
“As regards restitution, the balance of the sum of N2.7 million must be paid by the convict to the victim within six months from July 1, 2020, with the knowledge of the prosecutor.”
Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Mr Samson Osobu, had told the court that the defendant between 2015 and 2017, in Ado-Ekiti under false pretence and intent to defraud building materials valued N3.7 million from one Chinedu Okpara.
The prosecutor said the offence committed by the convict contravened Sections 1(1)(3) and 11 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other related offence Act,2006 and Section 1(a)(I) of the Dishonoured cheque Act.