A businessman, Hilary Ogbobe, has been sentenced to ten years in prison by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja for obtaining N13 million naira under false pretenses from a friend. Ogbobe and his company, Marine Mayor Limited, were convicted by Justice Dada after they were found guilty of three counts of conspiracy to obtain and obtaining money by false pretense and misdemeanor brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the EFCC, the offences are contrary to sections 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006. The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were arraigned on March 15, 2019.
During the trial, the prosecution called two witnesses who testified against the defendants. The prosecution witness, Ezugwu Aniebonan, narrated to the court how Ogbobe fraudulently obtained the money from him through Marine Mayor Limited’s Zenith Bank account. Aniebonan told the judge that Ogbobe had asked him to help raise N12 million to buy a Dreger for sale by Lagos State Government and UBA that he wanted to buy and scrap, promising to raise N8 million himself.
While delivering her judgment, Justice Dada found Ogbobe guilty and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on count one. She also sentenced him to three years imprisonment on count two, and another three years imprisonment on count three, all to run concurrently. The judge, however, discharged and acquitted Ogbobe’s wife, Dorothy Ijeomo, of the third count charge which borders on misdemeanor.
This judgment sends a strong message to fraudsters and scammers, as it shows that the law will always catch up with them. The EFCC and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria are committed to tracking down and prosecuting those who engage in fraudulent activities, and this case is just one example of their efforts to rid the country of economic crimes. It is hoped that this conviction will deter others from engaging in similar activities and help to protect innocent people from falling victim to fraudsters