8th July, 2021
Donatus Onyeabor has been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment for possessing counterfeited currencies, especially N1,000 notes.
Onyeabor was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Onyeabor was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on currency counterfeiting contrary to Section 5 (1) (b) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act CAP C35 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 5 (1) (C) of the same Act.
The charge reads: “That you Donatus Onyeabor on or about 30th day of November 2019, at Rumuola Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, had in your possession 28 pieces of Counterfeited N1,000.00 Nigeria Bank Notes to be used as legal render issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 5 (1) (b) of the Counterfeit Currency (Special Provisions) Act CAP C35 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 5 (1) (C) of the same Act”.
He however pleaded “guilty” to the one-count charge preferred against him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, F. O. Amama prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
However, counsel to the defendant, I. I. Uchendu prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stressing that the defendant has learnt his lessons.
Justice Obile convicted and sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment, with an option of fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000).
He ordered that the counterfeited currency be destroyed by the EFCC in the public and evidence of destruction filed with the court registrar
Onyeabor’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when a petitioner alleged that he was involved in selling counterfeited N1,000 notes to customers around Rumuola Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Operatives of the EFCC arrested him at the process of selling the fake notes to them.