By Abdulwahab Abdulah
LAGOS—An Ikeja High court has convicted and sentenced a hairdresser, Miss Mary Eze, to 75 years imprisonment for committing fraud totaling N1.5 million.
Justice Joseph Oyewole, who handed the sentence to the 35- year-old hairdresser, sent her to jail without an option of fine.
Eze was accused of conspiring with two others to defraud one Miss Ogonna Ebubedike. She was found guilty on eight counts out of the 15-count charge levelled against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Judge in his sentence, ordered Eze to be imprisoned for five years on count one and 10 years each on counts 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15. However, the sentences are to run concurrently and would begin from 2005 when she was first arrested and arraigned for the offence.
Therefore, out of the 10 years which she will spend in prison, she has already spent five.
Justice Oyewole in his judgement held: “the accepted testimony of Ebubedike that the defendant, acting with one Chief Ikechukwu Ogbu, presented to her that they had United States Dollars to clean with chemicals, a representation, the defendant knew to be false and fraudulently obtained various sums of money from her.”
According to Oyewole, the EFCC alleged that the convict committed the crime between May and July 2005.
Part of the charge read that, “Miss Mary Eze and Mr Kingsley (still at large) on or about the 26th day of May 2005 at Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud obtained the sum of N490,000.00 (four hundred and ninety thousand) by false pretences from Miss Ogonna Ebubedike.”
The offences were contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No.62 of 1999.
Justice Oyewole added that, “the denial of the defendant is self serving and out to mislead the court and I reject it.
“I accordingly hold that the prosecution has proved its case on these counts beyond reasonable doubt and I find the defendant guilty.”