A Benin High Court on Thursday, sentenced a middle-aged man, Akeju Isaac to seven years in prison with hard labour for falsely claiming to be a staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Delivering judgment, Justice Esohe Ikponwen, found the convict guilty on the two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretext, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
“The prosecution has proven the charge of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt and I therefore find the accused guilty as charged.
“`I am satisfied that there was conspiracy between the absconding Badmus and the accused with the prosecution’s very credible and unassailable evidence.
“I also have no hesitation to find the accused guilty of the second charge of obtaining money from the complainant under false pretext.
“The offence is very serious indeed and the punishment thereof should be severe to deter others from committing the same crime in the future.
Ikponwen refused to give the convict any option to pay fine.
EFCC counsel, Mrs Abieuwa Usoh-Iriabe, had told the court Isaac disguised himself as a principal detective superintendent at the EFCC, to obtain N200,000 from Dr Sunny Olotu, the Chief Medical Director of the Psychiatric hospital in Benin.
Usoh-Iriabe had told the court that the accused, who had posed as an EFCC operative, contacted the complainant, saying that there was a petition against him.
She said that the accused had compelled the complainant to pay N200,000 into one Joseph Badmus’s UBA account, as “weekend money for the boys.’’
Usoh-Iriabe further told that court that police operatives arrested the accused while trying to make withdrawal while Badmus, the owner of the account, absconded.