Justice M. L. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Kaduna has sentenced two persons, Ifeanyi Echebiri and Sylvester Okoli to seven years imprisonment each for obtaining money under false pretence.

 The accused persons were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on May 13, 2011 on a 21-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. In the course of the trial, the EFCC called eight witnesses and presented several documents which were admitted as exhibits.

After over two years of trial, Justice Shuaibu delivered judgment on April 26, 2013 and convicted the accused persons on 17 of the 21 counts. The accused persons were sentenced to seven year imprisonment on each of the counts but the sentence is to run concurrently.

The court also ordered that the accused persons make restitution to the complainant. However, this order will only be carried out sequel to a thorough and satisfactory investigation into the source of the complainant's money, that it was not acquired illegally.

The convicts' journey to prison began when on May 13, 2011 one Usman Falalu, a 31-year-old engineer who works with a construction company in Kaduna petitioned the Commission, alleging that that he was swindled of the sum of N33million by a syndicate of fraudsters through a phony contract to supply Power Voltage Rings worth N132 million to Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

Media & Publicity Unit

29th April, 2013