Court sentences man to 28 years imprisonment for fraud

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A Federal High Court in Abakaliki, Thursday, convicted Emeka Anaga for defrauding a victim of over N39.6 million.

Mr Anaga made his victim believe he was helping him to secure contracts for the supply of fuel for the electric generating plants of telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

The spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

He said Mr Anaga was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment.

A breakdown of the sentence showed that the convict was handed 10 years imprisonment for conspiracy and 12 years imprisonment for obtaining money by false pretence.

Earlier on 24 August, the convict was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in another fraud charge involving the theft of N973, 000 belonging to another fraud victim, Michael Okolo.

The sentences are to run concurrently, the court said.

EFCC had filed a 38-count charge of criminal conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence, forgery against Mr Anaga.

Mr Anaga’s offences are contrary to Section 1(C) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act and are punishable under Section 1(3) of the same act, according to the EFCC statement.

The prosecution, led by Rotimi Ajobiewe, presented 11 witnesses and tendered over 80 exhibits. The judge, Akintayo Aluko, found Mr Anaga guilty and convicted him on 34 counts.

The judge ordered the convict to pay N37, 000, 850 as restitution to one of his victims, Innocent Nwachukwu.

How the fraud was perpetrated

Mr Anaga tricked Mr Nwachukwu to pay the said N39.6 million in tranches of N1 million on the pretext that he would secure the contract of supplying fuel to the telecommunications companies for their power generating plants in Delta, Kano and Ebonyi States.

The payments were made between May and July 2017 in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, South-east Nigeria.

Mr Anaga had claimed to be a contractor who mounted masts in various locations for two telecommunications companies, MTN and Etisalat (now 9mobile).

After waiting in vain for the contracts, Mr Nwachukwu, an entrepreneur based in Nnewi, Anambra State, demanded a refund. But Mr Anaga failed to refund the money, prompting Mr Nwachukwu to petition the EFCC.

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