Justice Sherifah Solebo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced Elijah Kuti and Ibrahim Ado Yerima to six months in prison for an $18,000 (Eighteen Thousand Dollars Fraud) fraud.
The defendants were arraigned on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, following their arrest for defrauding a Bureau De Change Operator, Nasiru Ibrahim, on the pretext that the said amount of money would be sent to a recipient in Dubai.
The first count reads: “That you, Elijah Oluwaseun Kuti, sometime in December, 2016 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, had in your possession, money which you unlawfully obtained from one Nasiru Ibrahim of Azama Bureau De Change Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 329 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2015.”
The second count reads: “That you, Ibrahim Ado Yerima, sometime in December 2016, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, had in your possession the sum of Three Million Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N3, 650, 000. 00) reasonably suspected to have been stolen from one Nasiru Ibrahim of Azama Bureau De Change Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 329 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2015.”
They pleaded “guilty” to the charge. Prosecuting counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, informed the court of a plea bargain entered into by the defendants on March 8, 2019 and sought to review the facts of the case.
Buhari informed the court that the defendants had paid some of the money to their victim, and also agreed to forfeit the car purchased with the proceeds of the fraud to him.
She, thereafter, tendered their statements, petition and statement of account as evidence. She urged the court to convict them as contained in the plea bargain agreement.
Counsels to the defendants, U. G.Ezeaba and O. C Aibangbee, pleaded for leniency on behalf of their clients, asking the court to consider the fact that they chose freely, after being informed of their right, not to waste the time of the court and pleaded guilty.
Justice Solebo thereafter, convicted and sentenced them, accordingly.