Justice Dije Aboki of Kano High Court, on July 16, 2012, sentenced Mr Samuel Owoyele, a former manager with the United Bank of Africa Plc, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to nineteen years in prison for fraud.
Owoyele who was found guilty on all three count charge preferred against him is also to pay a total sum of twenty million naira as restitution.
Trouble started for Owoyele on December 9, 2009, when as a UBA manager, he collected the sum of twenty-seven million naira (N27m) from one Ashiru Munzali Gambo under false pretence that he had $185,000 (one hundred and eighty five thousand United States Dollars) to sell to him. After repeated visits and appeals, the convict could neither give the promised dollars nor the naira equivalent he collected from the complainant. This necessitated a petition to the EFCC.
Justice Aboki, in her judgment, observed that the evidence against the convict was convincing; explaining that the prosecution had established that the convict acted knowingly with the intent to defraud the complainant.
The judge said that the convict induced the complainant to part with his money; tore the teller that showed the transaction in an attempt to suppress evidence which she said was an act of desperation by the convict. The judge noted that the prosecution had discharged its onus on this count and therefore found the accused guilty as charged. She accordingly, sentenced the accused to 10 years.
On count two, Justice Aboki said that the evidence was the same but the circumstance differed. She said that false pretence and deception were present and that the accused used the money given to him to pay off another creditor of his. She said that the evidence against him was overwhelming, credible, clear and cogent. She found him guilty as charged and accordingly sentenced him to seven years without option of fine.
The judge also found Owoyele guilty on count three which borders on wilful intent to defraud, destruction of a UBA deposit slip No 23504; an offence punishable under section 371 of the Penal Code. She found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to two years plus a fine of three hundred thousand naira (N300, 000.00).
Justice Aboki said that she imposed the various prison terms on Owoyele in order to serve as deterrent to those who might like to abuse their offices, betray public trust and confidence as the accused.
The judge after careful consideration of both arguments granted bail to the accused in the sum of N500, 000 (five hundred thousand naira only) with two sureties in like sum. He stated that the sureties must be civil servants and resident of federal capital territory.
The case has been adjourned to October 15, 2012 for hearing.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
17th July, 2012.