An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday sentenced a businessman, Ernest Uduebor, for possession of forged Fidelity bank draft of N100 million.
Justice Ramon Oshodi sentenced Uduebor to one-year imprisonment following his guilty plea to the amended one-count charge of possession of a forged document.
“I have listened to the remarks of the defendant and that of his counsel that he is a first-time offender.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment to commence on Nov.10, 2022, when he had been arrested or pay N1 million fine,” Oshodi said.
The convict, in his plea for mercy, prayed to the court to temper Justice with mercy.
The defence counsel, in her allocutus, also pleaded with the court to give the convict a second chance at life as he was a first-time offender.
“My lord, the defendant has been in custody for over 100 days and he had the course to reflect on his life.
“He was taken into the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody on Nov. 10, 2022, when he was arrested, and to the correctional facility on Jan. 27, when he was arraigned before this court.
“Our humble prayer is that the defendant be granted a non-custodial sentence and be given a second chance at life,” she said.
While reviewing the facts of the case, an EFCC investigator testified that he got to know the convict during the investigation.
He said that during the investigation he discovered 10 Fidelity bank drafts of N10m totaling N100million with the convict.
The witness added that the bank draft did not emanate from the bank.
The EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, then prayed the court to sentence the convict according.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Uduebor was first arraigned by EFCC on Jan. 27, alongside Oladepo Babatunde, Funmilayo Oladimeji, and Maclean Surulere on a seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery, and possession of fraudulent documents.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge following their arraignment.
The anti-graft agency submitted that the defendants conspired to forge several Fidelity Bank Manager’s cheques purporting same to be issued by the bank in favour of So Deep Energy and Logistics Ltd.
The fourth defendant, Uduebor, opted to change his plea.
He was then re-arraigned on an amended charge of possession of the forged document, contrary to section 318 (3) of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2015. nan.