Six persons accused of conspiracy, forgery and counterfeiting by the Nigeria Customs Service have been convicted by the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The suspects were charged to court in 2013 and arraigned with a five count charge before Honourable Justice Musa, H. Kurya of the Federal High Court on 11th September 2013.
The six accused persons were alleged to have counterfeited Nigeria Customs Service Allocation paper ref. NCS/ADM/MGT/012/S.1/C VOL IV dated 4th June 2013 with serial number 0002095 for 1x20ft container no GESU 2339750.
Similarly, the six accused persons were also found to be in possession of counterfeited official seal of the Comptroller-General of Customs, counterfeited the seal of the officer in charge of valuation, Nigeria Customs Service, Idiroko, Ogun State Command and the official seal of valuation seat, Apapa port in Apapa Command, contrary to the provisions of section 162 (a) and (d) of Nigeria Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
Following the allegation, the six accused persons were jointly charged for conspiracy under section 166 of Nigeria Customs and Excise Management Act .
The accused persons were identified as Abiodun Ojo, Uche Nwamaka Mike, Charles Ali, Abutu Emmanuel, Sunday Nwaeze and Ngozi Ibeh.
The Legal team of the Nigeria Customs Service was led by Mr. Ajakaye, Julius Iyiola while Mr. O.O Oreyomi appeared for the 1st and 4th accused persons. Mr Ernest Onazi appeared for 2nd and 3rd accused persons while Mr SundayOkwor for the 5th and 6th accused persons respectively.
In his judgment, Justice Kurya of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, found the six accused persons/defendants guilty of the five count charges.
Consequently each accused person was sentenced to 2 (two) years imprisonment on each of the five counts that is 10 (ten) years imprisonment each which will run concurrently.
Expressing appreciation for the major legal breakthrough, the Controller federal Operations Unit Zone A Ikeja, Comptroller Umar Mohammed Dahiru commended the judiciary for its forthrightness in the delivery of judgment as he stated that it will serve as deterrence to others.
The Controller was quoted by the Public Relations Officer FOU Ikeja, Mr Uche Ejesieme of saying that cases involving other suspects apprehended in connection with other offences were ongoing at the federal High Court.
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