6th August, 2022
The Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on August 4, 2022, secured the conviction of Awopetu Gbolahan Emmanuel and Johnbull Kingsley before Justice M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court, Benin City.
Kingsley was arraigned on one count charge of possession of documents containing false pretences and misrepresentation, while Emmanuel was arraigned for making false statements to an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The charge against Kingsley reads: “that you, Johnbull Kingsley on the 23rd day of May 2022 in Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud did knowingly have in your possession documents containing false pretences and misrepresentation and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under the section 8 read together with section 1(3) of the same Act”.
The charge against Emmanuel reads: “that you, Awopetu Gbolahan Emmanuel on or about the 8th day of June 2022 at No 1 Court Road, GRA Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did make a statement in writing which you knew to be false to an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the course of his duties as an officer of the Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 39(2)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 39(2)(b) of the same Act”.
The defendants pleaded guilty to their respective counts prompting the prosecution counsel, I.M. Elodi to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
However, counsel to the defendants, A.S. Akinfolarin pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Emmanuel to two years imprisonment while Kingsley bagged one year imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the defendants’ phones, wristwatches and laptops, being proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.