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School proprietress gets jail term over N5m scam

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has secured the conviction and sentencing of Josephine Udeh, before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri.

Udeh, the Proprietress of Dala Standard Secondary School, Maiduguri was on a one-count charge of obtaining about N5, 059,000 by false pretence.

The EFCC said Udeh collected the money as WAEC registration fees from 284 students of her school and converted it for her private use.

She pleaded not guilty upon her arraignment on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution presented 10 witnesses and 10 exhibits which pushed her to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the EFCC.

At the resumed hearing, today, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, prosecution counsel Benjamin Manji prayed the court to substitute an earlier charge filed on April 9, 2019, with an amended charge of the day, July 31, 2019.

The amended charge said Udeh “committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Law cap 102 Laws of Borno State of Nigeria and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.”

She pleaded guilty to the amended charge in line with the plea bargain agreement she opted for.

Following her guilty plea, the prosecution counsel prayed the court to convict her as charged.

However, the defence counsel, B.G Sanda prayed for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant has already repaid the misappropriated sum.

Consequently, Justice Kumaliya pronounced her guilty as charged with a fine of N150, 000 and to spend one year in prison custody in default of the payment of the fine.
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