A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a former Acting Managing Director of Century Microfinance Bank Ltd., Robinson Olise, to a jail term of seven years for N29 million fraud.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Okon Abang, who now sits in the Abuja Division of the court, gave the sentence on Friday.
The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Police had preferred a five-count charge of stealing, fraud, forgery, criminal breach of trust and uttering of document against Olise.
The convict was said to have committed the offences while acting as the bank’s head from June 2008 to November 2009.
He was said to have converted to his personal use, the sum which was meant to purchase Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) treasury bills.
Olise had pleaded not guilty to the charge on arraignment.
During trial, the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered several exhibits, which were all admitted by the court.
The convict did not call any witness.
In the judgment, which lasted for hours, Abang held that the convict gave no evidence that he did not receive the said sum of money.
He also said that the convict had no evidence to prove that he invested the money in CBN’s treasury bills.
“The prosecution has been able to sufficiently prove the essential ingredients of the allegations against the defendant; consequently, I find the defendant guilty of all the counts of the charge,” he said.
On pronouncing the convict guilty, the defence counsel urged the court to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that Olise was the breadwinner of his family, adding that he was a first-time offender and had shown remorse.
However, the prosecution counsel, Mr Chukwu Agwu, urged the court to discountenance the plea.
Handing down the sentence, Abang said: “I have considered the allocutus (plea for mercy) made by the convict’s counsel.
“The convict was entrusted with investors’ monies and he inflicted pains on the investors, who lodged their monies in his bank, while he fraudulently moved the monies to his account.
“He is an avenger of evil, he is a fraudulent and lawless person; he planted thorns, he is not expected to gather flowers. Drastic situation deserves drastic solution.
“The convict is, hereby, sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on count one, three years on count two, three years on count three, three years on count four and three years on count five.
“The terms of the sentence are to run concurrently.”
NAN reports that by the concurrent sentence, the convict is to spend seven years behind bars.
His offences contravened the provisions of Sections 390(6), 463 and 468, of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation, 2008.