A Federal High Court in Rivers has sentenced one Obinna James to seven years imprisonment for conspiracy, false pretence and attempted fraud.
James was arraigned by the EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office in September 2012 in an attempt to defraud an operative of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to the tune of N450,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira.
“That you Obinna James, Eddy Ogagu and others now at large on or about 7th day of September 2012 at Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves and others now at large to commit an offence to wit: Obtain by False Pretence contrary to Section 8 (a) and read together with Section 9 (2) both of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under the same Act,” Justice H.J.O Oshomah said.
James was arrested in the process of collecting money from the EFCC operatives in Portharcourt. He contacted the operative on a phony contract deal and the operative played along until he was arrested.
The convict requested for the sum of N450,000 under a false pretence that it will be used to purchase a sample of an oil tool called “WHW TYPE 10A (Green Rock) allegedly needed by Agip Oil Company in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
James initially pleaded not guilty to the court but after thus necessitating his trial. However, he changed his plea to “guilty” at the resumed hearing of the case.
The prosecuting counsel, Celestina Okorie and the defense counsel, J. Osunpor agreed on the convict’s plea of guilty.
The judge, however, convicted and sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment.