A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on Thursday, February 8, 2018, upheld the conviction and sentencing of one Abiodun Ibrahim Atobalete, who was charged with a N2, 700,000( Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) fraud.
The convict had been arraigned sometime in 2012 before Justice O.A. Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of N2, 700,000 fraud.
In a petition dated May 11, 2010, the complainant, Chief G.O. Onipede, alleged that the defendant collected the money from him, under false pretence, as part-payment for a 2003 Model Lexus Jeep.
The defendant, however, was said to have been elusive after receiving the money from the complainant.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.
During the trial, the prosecution presented a number of witnesses and tendered documents in evidence against the defendant.
Delivering her judgment on February 26, 2015, Justice Akinlade found the defendant guilty on all counts and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine on each count.
The sentences are to run concurrently from February 26, 2015.
The court also ordered the EFCC to pay the sum of N200, 000 recovered from the convict, during the investigation, as part of restitution to the complainant.
The convict was also ordered to forfeit a plot of land located at Ifo, Ogun State to the complainant as restitution.
Dissatisfied, the defendant appealed to the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the trial court.
While canvassing his argument at the appellate court, counsel to the respondent, urged the appeal court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of the trial court.
In a unanimous decision, the appellate court yesterday dismissed the appeal and affirmed the conviction in the judgment delivered by the trial court.
Media and Publicity
9 February, 2018