Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Lagos, today convicted and sentenced Mr Adeloye Olukemi, the Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director of AG Moeller Nigeria Limited and his company to 16 years imprisonment for operating financial business without a valid Central Bank of Nigera (CBN), licence,
Both convicts were arraigned before the court on a 5 – count charge bordering on conspiracy , felony, fraud and operating financial business without a valid CBN licence.
In the charge against the duo, the prosecution accused the convicts of obtaining the sum of N80 million from the Chairman of Cross Country Limited, Mr. Bube Okorodudu, in excess of the amount due to them.
One of the counts reads: “That you Adeloye Richard Olukemi ‘M’ between March, 2007 and January, 2010 at the same place in the aforesaid Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N80m from one Bube Okorodudu, the Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cross Country Limited in excess of the capital sum of N140m advanced to him through the medium of a contract of finance lease facility, induced by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a-c) and Section 1(2) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.
On their arraingment, Adeloye and AG Moeller, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Abang upheld all the argument and issue for determination raised by the prosecution against the defendants, adding that prosecution had prove it case beyond reasonable doubt and found the convicts guilty of all the charges preferred against them
” After the closed of prosecution’s case, the convicts initially filed and moved a no-case submission, which was overruled and base on the ruling , they opened their defence.
“In their defence, there is no dispute over allegation of operating financial business without a valid Central Bank of Nigera (CBN) licence because Olukemi confirmed under cross-examination that their operation on financial business was done without licence from the appropriate authority which is CBN.
“Beside, there is no contradiction on all the exhibits tendered by the prosecution to proof their case, most especially, the 2002 CBN guidelines for financial business operations
“With all the evidences and exhibits before the court, there is no doubt that the accused are guilty of the offences preferred against them by the prosecution. Ignorance is not an excuse in in law, so, therefore, the court found Olukemi and his company. guilty of the five count” , the court held .
The court slammed one year jail term on Olukemi on count one, three years on count two , seven years on count four and five years on count five., making 16 years imprisonment while on count three , AG Moeller Nigeria Limited was ordered to pay a fine of One Million Naira to the Federal Government
The court also ordered the company to refund the sum of N80 million it collected in excess of the N140 million it advance to Cross Country Limited.
All the various jail term will commence from the day judgment was delivered and run concurrently.
AG Moeller and Olukemi were charged following Okorodudu and Cross Country’s March 5, 2011 petition to the CBN Governor alleging that the convicts were operating financial business without a valid license from the apex bank