Two Cooperative Chiefs Get Two Years Imprisonment for N4m Fraud
The Economic and Financial crimes commission, EFCC, secured another conviction on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 as Justice A. I. Kutigi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, convicted and sentenced the duo of Adegboyega London and Sylvanus Benedict to two years imprisonment each.
London and Benedict were arraigned in 2011 on a two count charge of criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
In a bid to free themselves of the charge, the defendants in 2013 filed a no case submission in which they were discharged on count one of conspiracy and ordered to enter their defence on the second count of breach of trust, which led to amending the charge.
London and Benedict were said to be Chairman and Secretary of Mbatoo Cooperative Society respectively. The Society was one of the Cooperative Societies in Nigeria awarded grants by the Federal Government to develop solid minerals sector of the economy with a view to increase the income of artisans and small scale miners.
The convicts fraudulently converted the sum of N4, 826,850.00 (four million eight hundred and twenty six thousand, eight hundred and fifty naira) to their own use as against the term of the agreement.
After diligent prosecution, Justice A. I. Kutigi found the first defendant (London) guilty on the first count and the second defendant (Benedict) guilty on the second amended charge.
While London was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment with an option of fine in the sum of N100,000 (hundred thousand naira) on count one, Benedict, got the same sentence on the amended second count.
The judge also ordered that, the convicts pay restitution of N2,413,425 (two million, four hundred and thirteen thousand, four hundred and twenty five naira) each to the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.