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Appeal court upholds 170 years jail term against scammer

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Court of appeal, sitting in Lagos has affirmed the conviction of a Nigerian, Ikechukwu Michael Ogbu sentenced to a cumulative 170 years mandatory terms of imprisonment for scamming someone N12.3 million.

The convict already serving a jail term of 10 years conspired with others, who claimed to be officials of the Economic and Crimes Commission (EFCC) to defraud his victim, while still in Kirikiri correctional centre.

Consequently, Justice Lateefa Abisola Okunnu of the High Court of Lagos State sitting at Ikeja in a judgment delivered on May 2, 2017 convicted him on 10 counts information, for offences ranging from conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences and obtaining money by false pretences.

He was convicted and sentenced to 18 years each for counts two to 10 (which bothers on the offences of obtaining money by false pretences) and 8years for count one (which offence bothers on conspiracy).

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the convict filed a 12 grounds of appeal dated June 19, 2017 at the court of appeal, Lagos.

Delivering the lead judgment on the appeal, Justice Ebiowei Tobi, held that the lower court considered very seriously the fact that the appellant was serving a prison term already for another offence and while in prison masterminded the commission of another offence.

“This obviously is not the disposition of a repentant person, indeed it is the disposition of a crook. He is still serving sentence and while there masterminded the commission of another offence. He did not just defraud the PW1 once, but on nine different occasions, masterminded his criminal plot in inducing PW1 into parting with his hard earned money and some of which he borrowed.

“The appellant is hardened and releasing him to society quickly will expose society to his kind of person. It is therefore safer for the society to leave him imprisoned for a reasonably long time. The appellant deserves no petty at all. Taking into cognizance the whole facts, I do not see my way clear to interfere with the sentence passed by the lower court,” he declared.

The issue, according to Justice Tobi is resolved against the appellant in the light of the foregoing.

“Having resolved all issues against the appellant, it only follows that this appeal lacks merit and same is hereby dismissed,” he held.

“The judgment of Hon. Justice Lateefa Abisola Okunnu of the High Court of Lagos State sitting at Ikeja delivered on May 2, 2017 in Charge No. ID/60C/2011 – Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Ikechukwu Michael Ogbu & Anor. is hereby affirmed,” he further held, adding that an appellant who is complaining of the wrong exercise of discretion by the lower court must show in what way the lower court had wrongly exercised the discretion.


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