By Moses Omovevah.
Justice O.A. Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja on Friday, September 15, 2023, convicted and sentenced one Ukoh Michael Odeh to one year imprisonment on one count-charge of fraud brought against him by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The convict got into trouble when the Command received an intelligence report regarding the suspicious activities of some individuals suspected to be internet fraudsters in Makurdi. He was subsequently arrested in a sting operation.
The charge reads: “That you, Ukoh Michael Odeh, between 2022 and 2023 in Makurdi, Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to account for the source of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira only) in your FCMB account No: 4668442010 when you reasonably ought to have known or suspected that the said unaccounted funds formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: Fraud and Money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 20(b) of the same Act”.
He pleaded guilty when the charge was read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, M. Yusuf prayed the court to convict him accordingly.
Justice Egwuatu, convicted and sentenced Michael to one year imprisonment with an option of N300,000.00 fine. The convict is also to forfeit N300,000.00 as restitution to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
The convict is also to forfeit an Infinix 7 smart phone being proceeds of criminal activity to the Federal Government of Nigeria.