Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
A Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja, has convicted and sentenced three fraudsters to a total of 35 years imprisonment for defrauding Union Bank Plc of N160 million.
The convicted fraudsters are: Solomon Uguma, Oladimeji Ajanaku and Raymond Onyekwere.
The convicted fraudsters were given the jail terms by the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, after founding them guilty of all the charges made against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Delivering judgment in a charge marked ID/674c/17, signed by Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, Justice Dada awarded Solomon jail-term of 10 years, while Oladimeji and Raymond were given 15 and 10 years respectively, after pronouncing them guilty of all the charges leveled against them.
The three convicts whose trial began before the court since 2017, were charged and arraigned before the court alongside Obinna Obed Akwuimu and a limited liability company, Raynard Integrated Limited, on five counts charge of conspiracy, forgery, obtaining under false pretence and use of false documents.
The convicts, according to the EFCC had on September 17, 2016, conspired among themselves and fraudulently obtained the sum of N160 million from Union Bank Plc.
To defraud Union Bank of the said amount, EFCC had told the court that the convicts forged and presented to the bank, a Rivers State Inland Revenue’s document dated August, 2016 and captioned “Government of Rivers State of Nigeria; Rivers State Internal Revenue Service -Re: Notice Of Intention to Levy Distrain”.
The prosecution further told the court that Obinna Obed Akwuimu who was formally charged alongside the convicts but later converted to prosecution witness, had forged the Rivers State Inland Revenue Service documents used in perpetrating the fraud.
The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 8(a), 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other related offences Act. No. 14 of 2004 and Sections 363(2)(A and B); 364 (1) and 363(2)(A and B) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, No. 11 of 2011.
Parts of the charges against the convicts read: “That you Obinna Obed Akwuimu, Solomon Nguma; Oladimeji Ajanaku; Raymond Nyekwere Williams; Reynolds Integrated Limited and others at large, on or about the 15th day of August, 2016, at Lagos within Lagos Judicial Division with intent to defraud conspired to obtain money from Union Bank Plc using false pretence.
“That you Obinna Obed Akwuimu; Solomon Nguma, Oladimeji Ajanaku; Raymond Nyekwere Williams; Raynard Integrated Limited and Paul Ojehonmon (at large) on or about the 17th day of September, 2016 at Lagos within the Lagos Judicial Division with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N160, 000, 000 (One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira) from Union Bank Plc by falsely representing to the bank that it was paying the sum of N160,000,000 (One Hundred and Sixty Million Naira) as withholding Tax to the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service through Raynard Integrated Services Limited which pretence you knew to be false.
“That you Obinna Obed Akwuimu, Solomon Nguma; Oladimeji Ajanaku; Raymond Nyekewre Williams, Raynerd Integrated Limited and Paul Ojehonmon at or or about the 15th August, 2016 at Lagos, within the Lagos Judicial Division, with latent to defraud knowingly and fraudulently used a document captioned “Government of Rivers State of Nigeria; Rivers State Internal Revenue Service -Re: Notice of Intention to Levy Distrain” dated 15th of August, 2016, purported to have emanated from the Rivers State Internal Revenue Services with the intent that the said document may be used or acted on as genuine at the prejudice of Union Bank Plc”.