19th January, 2012
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos state, has sentenced a foodstuff seller, Samuel Nelson Nwankwo to two and half years imprisonment over a case of impersonation and obtaining the sum of $243,500 .00 under pretences from a businessman.
Justice Habeeb Abiru, delivering judgment in a case of conspiracy, forgery, impersonation and obtaining money under false pretence preferred against Nwankwo by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, found him guilty of all the charges imputed to him and jailed him accordingly.
He also ruled that the convict should refund a total sum of twenty thousand United States Dollars ($20,0000) to his victim as restitution.
Troubles started for Nwankwo in 2010 when the EFCC was petitioned over his fraudulent dealings. The convict, a former foodstuff seller turned fraudster, was operating in a syndicate across the West Coast to fleece unsuspecting victims using Cote D’Ivoire as a base.
He admitted that the dummy to grant his victim a loan of five million USD ($,5000, 000.00) was discussed in Abidjan before he was subsequently invited to Nigeria .
His victim, a businessman in the West-African coast, deals in petroleum products, chemicals and distribution of telecommunication products.
Nwankwo worked on his dire need of business funding to goad him into parting with a sum of $243,500.00 in different installments, though he admitted collecting only $20,000. 00 from him.
The trick succeeded because Nwankwo assured the victim that he could get him a loan of $500, 000.00 at 5% interest rate.
Upon Nwankwo’s arrest, a search was conducted in his house and three large photograph frames which he purportedly took with some notable Nigerians including former Military President Ibrahim Babangida; former IGP of police, Mike Okiro and some bank executives were recovered.
All these were serving as his tools of deceiving his victims. Investigations also showed that Nwankwo collected various sum of money through Money Gram International and Western Union Money Transfer before the bubble finally burst.
Other members of Nwankwo’s syndicate are Gabriel Jeremiah and Michael Bandele Adekunle who are both at large.