By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A Bureau de Change (BDC) operator in Edo State, Mr Bashir Munkaila, has been convicted by a Federal High Court sitting in Benin, the state capital, for a one-count charge of intent to defraud contrary to section 1(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The convict was brought before Justice A.A.Demi-Ajayi by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Ajayi, while ruling on the matter on Tuesday, sentenced the defendant to six months imprisonment commencing from the date of judgement and a fine of N300,000.
It was gathered that upon his arraignment, Mr Munkaila pleaded guilty to the charge, which read, “That you Bashir Munkaila being a Bureau de Change operator on or about the 8th day of May 2018 in Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court with intent to defraud, did obtain from Adamu Haruna the sum of €13,000 under the false pretense that there was a customer in your shop who needed €16,000 at N430 to a Euro, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
In view of defendant’s plea, the prosecution counsel, K.U. Udus asked the court to convict and sentence the defendant in line with the plea bargain agreement.
However, the defence counsel, Onokpachere Ochuko, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his client was a first-time offender who has become remorseful. He also told the court that the defendant has repaid the victim the sum of €13,000.
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