Man jailed for refusing to return N99,000 transferred in error

Orhena Bartholomew
Orhena Bartholomew

The Makurdi Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, secured the conviction of a man, Orhena Bartholomew for refusing to return N99,000 transferred to him in error.

Mr Bartholomew was sentenced by Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of the Federal High Court, Makurdi, Benue State.

The EFCC said trouble started for Mr Bartholomew, a tailor, when the Makurdi Zonal Office of the EFCC received a petition from a complainant, who operates Firstmonie Cash Point alleging that Mr Bartholomew came to him to transfer N1,000 only to his friend in Lagos, but that he, the operator, mistakenly transferred N100,000.

After Mr Bartholomew had left, the complainant said he contacted him to refund him his N99,000 balance, but that he claimed he was already on his way to Lagos and would not return.

The friend in Lagos, however, saw the money and sent the entire N99,000 back to Mr Bartholomew’s account. However, instead of Mr Bartholomew sending it to the agent, he converted it to his personal use and bought a Honda cub motorcycle with it.

The Commission arrested and arraigned him in court.

One of the charges against him reads: “That you, Orhena Sesugh Bartholomewon on or about 15th of October, 2019 in Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without lawful authority engaged in acquisition of a super cub Honda motorcycle knowing that the said motorcycle was proceed of criminal activity and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 18(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 18(2) of the same Act.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge. Following his plea, prosecution counsel, G. G. Chai-Yakua urged the court to accept a plea bargain agreement earlier reached with the defendant and convict him accordingly.

Justice Olajuwon convicted him and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with option of N50,000 fine.

The N99,999.00 which the defendant had been made to cough out in the course of the investigation was paid to the complainant as restitution. He also forfeited his Honda cub motorcycle to the federal government.

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