Court backs Customs to Remand Importer Pending Investigation
A Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted and sentenced a job scammer, Emeka Anaga, to a 404 years imprisonment, for fraud.
The court was presided over by Justice Akintayo Aluko.
Justice Aluko gave the verdict through zoom recently, while delivering judgment in a separate-charge filed against the convict by the Abakaliki Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The convict was brought before Abakiliki, Ebonyi State division of the Federal High Court, in 2018 and 2019, where Justice Aluko was formerly sitting, on charges marked FHC/AI/8c/2019 and FHC/AI/62c/2018, on a 39 and six count charges respectively.
In the charges, the convict and one Barrister Ken, said to be at large, were accused of introducing themselves to their victim, as a staff of Etisalat telecommunications Limited now 9Mobile, and that he was capable of securing them contract to supply fuel to all telecommunication companies.
To be precise, he was accused of fraudulently obtaining various sum amounting to N37, 805 million, from one Innocent Nwanchukwu, Managing Director of IB. Nwanchukwu Enterprises, under false pretence of securing a contract for him to install mast and fuel same at different locations in the country.
He was also accused of forging MTN’s Identity card.
In the two charges, the convict was alleged to have defrauded his victims of various sums running to million of naira.
The prosecutor, Rotimi Ajobiewe, had told the court that the offences committed by the convict, contravened Sections 8(a); 1(c) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act. And Section 2(C) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, 2004 and punishable under the same Section of the Act.
The convict had pleaded not guilty to all the count charges, on his arraignment in 2018 and 2019, respectively. And he was admitted to bail in various terms, but unable to perfect such.
Delivering judgment on the charges in Lagos on Wednesday, through zoom, Justice Aluko convicted the convict in all 39 counts on the charge marked FHC/AI/8c/2019, except on count one to four, 29 and 34. The judge also convicted him on count one of the charge marked FHC/AI/62c/2018.
Following the Judge’s pronouncement on the convict, his counsel, O. Okorie, in his allucutor, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Okorie also appealed to court, to consider the period his client had spent in custody, and urged the court to remove such from the jail terms.
After listened to the counsel’s submission, Justice Aluko, while pronouncing sentence on charge marked FHC/AI/8c/2019, held that the convict is sentence to 12 years imprisonment in 33 out 39 count charge, without an option of fine.
The judge also held that the period the convict already spent in prison custody shall be computed and deducted from the terms of imprisonment in respect of all the counts. And that sentences and terms of imprisonment to be served to by the convict in all the counts shall run concurrently and not consecutively.
The judge also ordered the convict to make restitution of the sum of N37, 805 million, fraudulently obtained from Innocent Nwanchukwu, the Managing Director of IB. Nwanchukwu.
On the charge marked FHC/AI/62c/2018, Justice Aluko held that: “I have listened to the plea of allocutus made for the convict. I have taken into account all the aggravating and mitigating factors highlighted in sections 311, 401 and 416 of the Administration Justice Act.
“By the combined effect of the provision of sections 1 (c) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, the offence in count 1 of the charge attracts imprisonment for a term of not more than 20 years and not less than 7 years without the option of a fine.
“Having considered the plea of allocutus of the convict and taken into account of all the factors and highlights emphasized in the provisions of sections 311, 401 and 416 of the ACJA, the convict is hereby sentenced to eight (8) years imprisonment on count 1.
“The period the convict already spent in prison custody shall be computed and deducted from the terms of imprisonment he is meant to serve.”