Justice M. T. Salihu of the Federal High Court, sitting in Bauchi, Tuesday, sentenced one 18 year old man, Adamu Abubakar, a.k.a. Damina Suruku, to 10 years imprisonment.
Mr. Abubakar was found guilty on all four-count charge of dealing, altering, and being in possession of fake Nigerian currency notes brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was however given an option of three hundred and sixty-five thousand naira (N365, 000) fine.
Mr. Abubakar was arrested on March 19, 2012, at Darazo market in Bauchi State while trying to spend a fake N500 Nigerian currency with an orange seller in the market.
In his allocutus, counsel to the accused, Sarah Peters, prayed the court to be lenient with the accused who had earlier pleaded guilty to the four-count charge brought against him by the EFCC.
She told the court that the convict is a young and promising youth, who was ignorantly lured into the crime by his uncle now at large.
She urged the court to take cognisance of the fact that Mr. Abubakar is repentant and remorseful; the breadwinner of his family with aged parents, and a first time offender who has promised never to get involved in any crime, in sentencing him.
Justice Salihu in his ruling said ordinarily the offences which the accused was charged with, carries heavy penalties and without an option of fine.
However, in view of the plea of the convict, and by the powers conferred on him by Section 322 sub-section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act, he had decided to use his discretionary powers to offer him an option of fine.