An Igbosere High Court of Lagos State on Wednesday sentenced a businessman, Femi Ogunlowo, to seven years imprisonment for defrauding a Switzerland fertilizer company, Uralkali Trading SA, to the tune of N171.2 m.
The court presided over by Justice Raliat Adebiyi, sentenced the convict after pronouncing him guilty of all the amended four counts charge of conspiracy to steal, retaining stolen property; money laundering; retaining proceeds of criminal conduct and forgery, levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
During the trial, the EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo had informed the court that the convict committed the offence between January 5 and 29, 2015, in Lagos.
Oyedepo had informed the court that the convict conspired and obtained $859, 940, USD, from Uralkali Trading SA of Geneva, Switzerland through false pretences.
Oyedepo also had also informed the court that on January 6, 2015, the convict tried to disguise the source of the money through unlawful financial transaction.
While also claimed that on October 4, 2015, in Lagos, the convict forged a document titled Federal Republic of Nigeria National Driver’s License No: YYY 13850AA dated February 22, 2014,” which he claimed to have been issued by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
The convict had denied all the charges. And he was admitted to bail.
However, at the resumed proceedings of the matter today, which was slated for judgement, Justice Adebiyi pronounced that the prosecution has been able to prove its case beyond every reasonable doubt.
Consequently, the judge pronounced the convict guilty of all the four counts amended charge, and sentenced him to one and half years in count one and two, and two years in count three and four, making a total of seven years imprisonment.
The judge however ordered that the terms of the sentences are to run concurrently.
The convict, Femi Ogunlowo, was first was arraigned before the court on March 14, 2016, by the EFCC alongside eight companies: Forston Construction Limited, Cheslinks Power System Limited, Cheslinks Concept Investment Limited, De Beauvior Intergrated Limited, Crestcom Educational Development Limited, Sun Riser International Company Limited (still at large), Yuandeng Plastic and Hardware Moulds Company (still at large) and China Great Value Industrial Company, also still at large.
They were arraigned on a 10-count charge of conspiring to obtain money by false pretence; inducing delivery of property; conspiring to steal; stealing; conspiring to retain stolen property; retaining stolen property; money laundering; retaining proceeds of criminal conduct and forgery.
The counts were however reduced to four in an amended charge.