June 24, 2024

Fraudster sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Warri

Fraudster sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Warri

Glory Ebomah

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, convicted and sentenced one Otede Pio Meyeoghene to 10 years imprisonment without an option of a fine.

Meyeoghene was first arraigned in 2018 by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC and later re-arraigned on July 12, 2021. Upon arraignment, the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the three counts preferred against him by the Commission setting the stage for full trial.

One of the charges read: “That you,  Otede Pio Meyeoghene sometime in 2015 in Warri, Delta State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud induce Eyinoloma Demeyin to deposit the sum of N2,000,000 only into account number 2010467547 domiciled at First Bank PLC operated by you with the false pretence that the money was for investment in waste management contract with Rivers State Government in Port Harcourt with N25,000 daily dividend as return on investment to him which pretence you knew is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Acts 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.

In the cause of the trial, the prosecution counsel, I. M Elodi called two witnesses to prove the case against the defendant, while the defence also called two witnesses.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Abang stated that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore found the defendant guilty on the three counts.

“This offence of obtaining under false pretence is an endemic disease that needs an urgent diagnosis and treatment and it is important to put a punitive sentence that would serve as a deterrent to others,” the judge stated.

He convicted and sentenced the defendant to 10 years imprisonment on each of the counts without an option of a fine. The sentences are to run concurrently.

The judge also ordered the defendant to return to the nominal complainant the outstanding sum of N2,095,000 with 21% interest per annum from 2015 until fully liquidated.

Meyeoghene’s journey to prison began when in 2015 he collected N2.5 million from the complainant on the pretext that he was investing it for the purchase of a truck for waste management in Rivers State.

The complainant stated that after making the payment he did not hear from the defendant again, and all efforts to recover his money were futile.

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