A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday sentenced a 26-year-old man, Seun Abdulahi, to one year in prison for being in possession of fake Naira notes.
The State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department Panti, had arraigned the convict on a one-count charge of being in possession of fake currency.
Abdullahi had pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court to temper justice with mercy.
Delivering judgment, Justice Muslim Hassan, held “in view of the plea of the convict, the exhibits tendered, and considering the fact that the convict did not waste the time of the court, he is sentenced to one year in prison.’’
Justice Hassan ordered that the jail term should begin from March 15, when he was arrested.
The Judge also ordered the destruction of the fake currency in the presence of the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar, after 90 days of the judgment, if not appealed.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr Joseph Eboseremen, told the court police operatives arrested the accused on March 15, at an online-betting shop, at Ojuelegba in Lagos, while in possession of the fake currency.
He said the currency amounting to N40,000 comprised; 39 pieces of N1,000 notes, and two pieces of N500 notes.
Eboseremen alleged that a trader had raised an alarm when she noticed that the currencies with which the accused wanted to pay for bought items were fake.
While proving his case, the prosecutor tendered the currency, the accused confessional statement, the complainant’s statement and letters exchanged between the Police and Nigerian Security Mints Printing Company (NSMPC) as exhibit before the court.
He then urged the court to sentence the convict accordingly, as prescribed by law.
In his defence, while pleading for mercy, the accused said the money was given to him by his debtor.
He said he did not know that the currencies were fake.
The accused alleged that he only got to know when he attempted to pay for an item he bought and the trader raised an alarm which attracted the police.