Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, on February 19, 2013, sentenced a former banker, Vera Ogbonna Akanni to nine( 9) years imprisonment for defrauding her bank customers various sums of money to the tune of N35,402,440.75( Thirty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Naira, Seventy Five kobo only). The convict was prosecuted on an eight (8) count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and stealing by fraudulent conversion.
Prior to her sentencing, defence counsel, Yinka Oyeniji, drew the attention of the court to an affidavit of means placed before the court on February 17, 2013. Besides, Justice Onigbanjo asked the prosecution counsel, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, if the convict had any previous records of conviction. Owodunni confirmed to the court that the convict did not have any such record. However, the prosecution counsel further addressed the court on the convict’s sentencing, saying that the offence for which she was tried attracts a punishment of between seven (7) and twenty (20) years imprisonment.
“My lord, this is money entrusted to the convict as a banker and an account officer. Her criminal conduct is not only a breach of trust but a heinous crime. This money belongs to innocent and unsuspecting members of the public”, Owodunni submitted. He, therefore, prayed the court that the convict be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Justice Onigbanjo consequently sentenced the convict to 7(seven) years imprisonment on two of the counts and 2 (two) years imprisonment on two other counts effective from December 2, 2009 when she was first arrested. The sentence is to run concurrently.
Also, Justice Onigbanjo ordered the convict to make full restitution of the stolen money to the owners.
…EFCC Arraigns Two Fraudsters for N3m Scam
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 arraigned two suspects, Progress Umoera 34, and Ilenreh Douglas 28, before Justice Adebisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on an 18-count charge bordering on conspiracy and forgery contrary to section 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The charge reads in part, “that Progress Umoera (a.k.a “Randy Smith”, “Doris”, “Dahima Amit”) and Ilenreh Douglas (a.k.a Kariba Williams) on or about the 7th day of February, 2012 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N611, 600 (Six Hundred and Eleven Thousand, Six Hundred Naira only) from Peter Ezeh by falsely represented
That a loan of $250,000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars) was approved and granted by Randy Finance Loan firm and ready to be collected at EFCC’s office at 15a Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos after payment of transfer charges, IMF and EFCC clearance fees which pretence you knew to be false”.
When the charge was read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
EFCC counsel, Eletu R. Alao prayed the court for a trial date and that the accused persons are remanded in prison custody.
However, counsel to the first defendant, Mahmud O Atanda informed the court that he had filed an application for bail. Also, counsel to the second defendant, Akobundu Ehiemere prayed the court to grant the bail application of his client based on some un-disclosed health condition
Justice Akinlade, after listening to all their submissions, adjourned the matter till April 25, 2013 for commencement of trial. She was silent on a date for the hearing of bail applications. She also ordered that the defendants be remanded in Kirikiri maximum prison.