Criminal Law

Obi bags one year jail over N16m fraud

A Lagos Special Offences Court, in Ikeja on Tuesday, sentenced a man Anthony Obi to one year imprisonment for N16m fraud.

Justice O.O.Abike-Fadipe sentenced the convict after he pleaded guilty to an amended one-count charge brought against him. Obi was accused of receiving fraudulently obtained property to with money totaling sum of N16,700,000.

When the case was called the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) Prosecutor Mr G. C Akaogu, prayed the court to allow the convict to take his plea again on the new information dated March 28, 2022.

Obi was then re-arraigned on a one-count charge and he pleaded guilty to the offence.

The count reads: “ANTHONY OBI on or about the 7th day of December, 2020 and January, 2021 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, retained in your control, the sum of N16,700,000.00 (Sixteen Million Seven
Hundred Thousand Naira Only) being proceeds of criminal conduct on behalf of one Mr. lloh and others at large.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge.

According to the Commission the offence committed is punishable under Section 331 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. EFCC gave a review of the facts, and urged the court to convict him as charged.

While reviewing the facts of the case Akaogu said the convict was arrested on July 8, 2021, in Ajah area of Lagos.

He said that the convict was arrested based on credible intelligence that he was into internet fraud. According to him, he was subsequently brought to the EFCC’s Lagos office where mobile devices found on him were forensically analysed by the cyber crime department and his statement taken.

“Fraudulent documents were printed out from his phone, which gave a clue to the nature of his illegal activities which is specifically as a picker, who receives money from such internet fraud on behalf of fraudsters for a percentage,” he said.

He further told the court that the defendant confessed under interrogation that he benefitted the sum of N16,700,000 in different transactions through cryptotraders from the Mr. Iloh currently at large, .

However, the prosecutor tendered in evidence the statement of the defendant and the mobile phones recovered from him.

In addition he said that aside the phones, a Mercedes Benz C300 2016 model was also recovered from him all of which he admitted were proceeds of his illegal activities.

The statements of the defendant and the mobile devices recovered from him were tendered in evidence and admitted as Exhibit against him.

Consequently, Justice Abike-Fadipe found him guilty as charged.

Obi in his alocutus pleaded with the court for mercy promising not to go back to the fraudulent activities.

After listening to his plea the Judge sentenced him to one year in prisonment with an option of N1m fine and 80 hours of community service. The court in addition ordered that the Items recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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