…Another To Spend 53 years
By: Okosun Dennis
Aigbuwa Innocent Onolememen would spend the next six months at the Correctional Centre for illegally obtaining bank details from one Zulaikha Yusuf under false pretences with which he dubiously withdrew N498,500 from her account.
Trouble started for the convict when a case of theft was reported against him to the Kaduna Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), by the victim alleging that sometime on 20th July, 2018, she received a phone call purportedly from a staff of First Bank, requesting for her banking details, under the guise of using them to fix some issues regarding her accounts.
Ignorantly, she obliged.
Yusuf further explained that she was instructed to switch off her mobile phone for one hour and she did.
However, when she switched the phone on later, she received debit alerts of about N498,500 withdrawn from her two bank accounts.
Investigations later showed that, the money was transferred into five different accounts bearing different names, and domiciled with Ecobank.
It was also discovered that multiple mobile lines were recharged from the accounts, and one of the lines was found with the suspect.
As a result it was learnt, he was promptly arrested and charged to court. Fortunately, after diligent prosecution, the Kaduna zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday July 29, 2020 secured the conviction of Aigbuwa Innocent Onolememen on a two count charge bordering on theft and impersonation
When the matter came up for arraignment on Wednesday, before Justice Mu’azu Tukur of the Kaduna State High Court, Onolememen pleaded guilty to the two count charges, prompting the EFCC counsel, Onyeka Ekweozor to ask for his conviction and sentence.
Justice Tukur, thereafter, sentenced him to six months imprisonment without an option of fine, the defendant is also to restitute the victim the sum of N498, 500 stolen from her bank account.
In another development, Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday sentenced a serial fraudster, Aliyu Zakari to 53 years imprisonment for N17.1million fraud.
The convict was prosecuted by the Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on six-count charges of obtaining money by false pretence and stealing, to which he pleaded not guity.
One of the charges read: “That you, Aliyu Zakari, on or about the 18th day of July , 2014, in Lagos, within the Lagos judicial division, with intent to defraud, induced Mrs. Obiezuono Adaeze of Maglo Tech Inter Limited to confer a benefit of 1, 762 bags, valued at N17,136, 450.00 (Seventeen Million, One Hundred and Thirty-six Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Naira only ) on you under the false pretence that the bags were meant for Kano State Government and that same would be paid for by the Kano State Government, which pretence you knew to be false.”
Prosecution counsel, Franklin Ofoma in the course of the trial, invited witnesses and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence by the court, while the defendant testified for himself and had just one witness.
Justice Solebo in his judgment convicted the defendant and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment on counts one to five and three years on count six.
Zakari’s journey to prison began after he fraudulently took delivery of some bags worth N17, 136, 450.00 from his victim, Obiezuono Adaeze of Maglo Tech Inter Limited.
During their meeting sometime in 2014, Zakari, who was being investigated for offences bordering on issuance of dud cheques, told Adaeze, who was also at the Lagos detention facility of the Commission, that the Kano State Government needed a large supply of trolley bags, shoulder bags, pilot bags and pilot cases, valued at N17,136, 450 .
Upon her release from the Commission’s holding facility, the victim supplied all the items to Zakari, who did not deliver them to the Kano State Government, but converted them to his own.