Court Jails Ex-Lagos Court Registrar over $330,000 Fraud
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed an application filed by a former Lagos court registrar, Mrs Oluronke Rosulu, who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by an Ikeja High Court for defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi ( retd.) of $330,000.
Mrs Rosolu had been convicted by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja on the two-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences brought against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on December 21, 2015.
Consequently, the appellant, through her lawyer, filed a notice of appeal on December 30, 2015, challenging her conviction.
However, in a judgement delivered on Friday, the Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal and affirmed the decision of the lower court.
Mrs Rosulu had aided Fred Ajudua, a one-time Lagos socialite, to defraud Mr Bamiayi when they were both remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos for different offences.
The prosecution had told Justice Lawal-Akapo that Mr Ajudua made a false representation to Mr Bamaiyi that the $330,000 was the professional fees for the law firm of Afe Babalola and Co. to facilitate the former military officer’s release from prison, a claim which the firm denied.
During the trial, Mrs Rosulu had denied going to the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons or knowing Mr Ajudua.
However, counsel to the prosecution presented a number of witnesses who testified that she went to the prison on different occasions to collect the money from Mr Bamaiyi on behalf of Mr Ajudua.
While delivering her judgement, Justice Lawal-Akapo had said: “The representation that she never collected $330,000 from the complainant is deceptive; the accused could not provide a strong alibi for her whereabouts when the fraud occurred.
“I find the accused guilty as charged. As a registrar of court, the accused should have been an image maker of the judiciary, but she acted in the contrary.
“On count one, I sentence the accused to 10 years imprisonment and on count two I sentence the accused to 10 years imprisonment.
“Both sentences are to run concurrently.”