Justice O.A. Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, handed down a one-year prison sentence to Ukoh Michael Odeh on a single count of fraud filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Makurdi Zonal Command.
The conviction stemmed from the EFCC’s receipt of intelligence regarding suspicious activities involving individuals suspected of internet fraud in Makurdi, leading to Michael’s arrest in a sting operation.
The charge against Michael stated that he failed to account for the source of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira) in his FCMB account when he reasonably should have known or suspected that the unaccounted funds were linked to unlawful activities, including fraud and money laundering. This action constituted an offense under Section 20(a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, punishable under Section 20(b) of the same Act.
Michael pleaded guilty to the charge, and upon his plea, the prosecuting counsel, M. Yusuf, requested the court to convict him accordingly.
Justice Egwuatu subsequently convicted Michael and sentenced him to one year in prison, with the option of a N300,000.00 fine. Additionally, the convict was ordered to forfeit N300,000.00 as restitution to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC. Furthermore, an Infinix 7 smartphone, which was determined to be proceeds of criminal activity, is also to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
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