Wahala! Prisoner defrauds bank manager of N12.3m, bags fresh 18 years


An Ikeja High Court in Lagos State on Tuesday sentenced a middle-aged prisoner, Ikechukwu Ogbu, to 18 years imprisonment for defrauding a bank manager, Mr. Patrick Edetchukwu, of N12.3 million.

Ogbu committed the offences while in prison serving a 10-year sentence at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison for an undisclosed crime.

Ogbu was charged alongside Chuks Ibebugbu for conspiring to defraud Edetchukwu.

The men were initially arraigned on June 10, 2011 on a 10-count by the EFCC, bordering on obtaining money by false pretences and stealing.

Ogbu defrauded Edetchukwu between May and October 2009 at the Kirikiri Prison of N12.3million under the pretext that he was detained by the EFCC for allegedly bringing $2.5 million into the country.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu, however, in her judgment on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Ibebugbu due to insufficient evidence provided by the prosecution during the trial.

She noted that prison officials aided the crime by allowing Ogbu to open a bank account and wear regular clothes instead of prison uniform.

Ogbu’s physical appearance tricked Edetchukwu during his visits to the prison into believing that he was not a convicted prisoner, she said.

“By allowing the defendant to wear mufti clothes, the Kirikiri Maximum Prison facilitated the crime,” she said.

Okunnu pronouncing the sentence said, “I have listened to the plea of counsel.

“I have noted that names of a lot of notable personalities were put on the line during the planning of this crime and I have also noted that the defendant has remained unrepentant.

“I sentence the defendant to 18 years each on counts two to 10.

“The sentence is to run concurrently,” Okunnu said.NAN

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