By Esther Onyegbula
A Federal High court sitting in Lagos has sentenced three men—Umem Anita, Isa Hassan, and Mfom Iniunam— to 24 years imprisonment for conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.
The prosecutor, Official in-Charge, Legal, Emmanuel Jackson, told the court that sometimes in 2014, Dashad Bureau De Change Company Limited needed dollars for its customers.
Upon enquiries, the convicts came to the Managing Director of Dashad Bureau De Change Alhaji Tayo, saying they had dollars for sale and immediate delivery once the naira equivalent was received.
Consequently, the victim paid N800 million which was the equivalent of $1.5 million dollars to the convicts. But it turned out that the convicts did not have any dollars as claimed.
They used the victim’s money to source for $500,000 dollars in black market which they paid to the victim and thereafter made away with the balance of $1 million dollars.
Following this development, they were arrested and charged to court for conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence in 2015.
The three convicts were arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba.
While the first defendant Umem Anita was sentenced to ten years imprisonment without option of fine, the second and third defendant Isa Hassan, and Mfom Iniunam, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each without option of fine.
The first defendant Umem Anita was also ordered to pay back the one million dollars to the victim as restitution.
The two companies used for the fraud were ordered to be wound up and their assets forfeited to the Federal Government.