Man to spend 168 years in jail for N2.5m fraud

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3rd June, 2013 - AN Ikeja High Court, Lagos, on Monday sentenced a middle-aged man, Olaolu Salau, to 168 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for defrauding a Lagos-based businessman, Solomon Ayoola, of N2. 5 million.

 

Trial judge, Adeniyi Onigbanjo, handed the verdict following a plea-bargain arrangement between the convict and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

The judge, while sentencing Salau after he pleaded guilty to an amended 24-count charge preferred against him by the anti-graft agency, ordered that the convict serve seven years’ each to the 24-count at Kirikiri Prison, Lagos.

 

In his judgment, Justice Onigbanjo, who read through the plea bargain agreement filed in line with the Lagos State Criminal Justice Procedure Law 2011, however, ordered that the sentence runs concurrently starting from December 11, 2007, being the date he was arrested by the EFCC.

The convict was also to pay a restitution of N2.5 million to the victim, who has already paid the sum of N400,000 to the EFCC.

He was to pay the money within a year from his release from prison.

 

The convict, the court ordered, was also to be used as a prosecution witness against the remaining defendants.

Salau was arraigned with four others on allegation of conspiracy and defrauding one Solomon Ayoola at different times to the tune of N2.5 million by claiming to be capable of increasing the said amount through the invocation of invisible entity.

 

According to the charge dated May 6 and filed on May 7, 2013, by the EFCC, the convict was charged with conspiring with four others with intent to defraud the businessman between June and November 2006 of various sums of money.

 

The offence, the anti-graft agency said, contravened Section 419 of Advance-Fee-Fraud and Miscellaneous Offences.

According to the prosecution, the Commission had in September 2007, received a petition by one Ayoola alleging the case of fraud of obtaining money by false pretence.

 

The prosecution said investigation by the Commission revealed a fraud totalling N2.5m at various times between June and November 2006.

This, the prosecution said, necessitated the filing of a 24-count charge, one on conspiracy and 23 others bordering on advance-fee-fraud and obtaining money by false pretence.

 

The defence’s statement was also admitted as exhibits by former trial judge, Justice Habeeb Abiru.

But during the course of trial, the convict, who has been in custody for seven years, wrote to the EFCC for a plea-bargain arrangement, which necessitated his plea of guilt.

 

Meanwhile, other three defendants: Akinsowon Olufemi, Adebisi Adewale, Muyiwa Ayeni arraigned with the convict, had maintained their plea of innocence and were remanded in Kirikiri Prison custody till July 22 for trial.

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