The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, secured the convictions of the duo of Valentino Chibueze Enudi and Monday Adewale Lawal, charged for cheating and criminal conspiracy before Justice Valentine Ashi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Apo, Abuja.
Enudi and Lawal were arraigned on January 18, 2016 on a 15-count charge which they pleaded not guilty to.
Subsequently, the accused persons, through their counsels, prayed the court to allow them explore the option of plea bargain with the prosecution.
Justice Ashi, granted their prayers and adjourned the matter to February 3, 2016 for the hearing on the amended charge.
At the resumed hearing, the defendants pleaded guilty to a 2-count amended charge.
Testifying, an investigating officer with the EFCC, Isa Mohammed, stated that the arrest of Enudi and Lawal followed a petition received from the British High Commission, on some activities of fraudsters who fake documents in the guise of obtaining British Visas for unsuspecting victims.
Mohammed further told the court that, investigation into the matter revealed some of the forged documents which included statement of accounts and letters of introduction from their purported employers, to the defendants.
The documents were tendered and admitted as exhibits including their plea bargain agreement.
Counsel to EFCC, Samuel Okeleke thereafter, urged the court to convict the accused persons based on their plea and the facts of the case.
In an allocutus, the defence counsel, Adam Imuekemhe and E.E Akutus representing Enudi and Lawal respectively, prayed the court to tamper justice with mercy adding that, the defendants are first time offenders and have shown remorse by co-operating with the prosecution during investigation.
After listening to the submissions of the counsel, Justice Ashi convicted the defendants and sentenced them to 6 months imprisonment on each of the counts with an option of fine of N200,000 (Two hundred thousand naira) on each of the counts.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
Head, Media & Publicity
3rd January, 2016