…As Maduagwu bags 10 years jail term, for $179,000 fraud***
A clearing and forwarding agent, Paul Nwabueze on Wednesday appeared before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly defrauding a school proprietor of N940,000 on the pretext of selling him a bus.
The 44 year old Nwabueze, whose children attend the complainant’s school, is facing a charge of fraud. He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecutor, Insp. Ben Ekundayo, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometime in 2017, at Bogije town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
Ekundayo said that the defendant collected N940,000 from the proprietor of his children’s school, one Mr. Tony Mciver, under false pretence of helping him to buy a school bus.
“The school had been having school bus challenges, as the old bus broke down.
“The defendant, whose children attend the school, introduced himself as a clearing and forwarding agent, and said he could help in acquiring a new school bus.
“Mciver gave the defendant N940,000, but he did not buy the bus and has not refunded the money since 2017,” he said.
The offence contravenes Section 314 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, which carries 15 years imprisonment as punishment.
The Magistrate, Mrs A.M. Olumide-Fusika, granted the defendant N200,000 bail, with two sureties in like sum.
She adjourned further hearing in the case till Oct. 17.
Meanwhile, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has convicted one Lawrence Maduagwu to 10 years imprisonment for $179,000 fraud.
A statement obtained from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) website said that the convict was arraigned by the EFCC, Lagos Zonal office on Feb. 28, 2018, on a two-count charge.
The two-count charge bordered on stealing and obtaining $179,000 by false pretence.
It said that Maduagwu was introduced to the complainant, PMC Industry Limited, a Chinese company, through its Nigerian representative, Ohio Ileogben, as a businessman who deals in calcium chloride chemicals.
It stated that the convict, however, failed to pay for the 500 metric tonnes of calcium powder valued at the sum of $179,000, after taking delivery of the items and efforts to get him pay for the goods were unsuccessful.
It said that count one read: “That you, Lawrence Maduagwu, sometime in 2013, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud.
“Induced PMC Industry Limited, China to confer a benefit on you by supplying you 500 metric tonnes of calcium chloride powder valued at $179, 000 on the understanding that you will pay for the goods.
“But up till now, you have refused to do so.”
It read that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, thereby leading to his full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, called five witnesses and tendered several exhibits that were admitted in evidence by the court.
It said that the defendant, however, testified for himself and also called two other witnesses.
During the sitting on June 19, 2019, parties adopted their final written addresses.
It added that in her judgment delivered on Sept. 11, 2019, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced the defendant to seven years imprisonment on count one and three years on count two.
Both sentences are to run concurrently effective Feb. 28, 2018, the date he was remanded by the court.
It said that the Judge also ordered that the convict make full restitution of the $179,000 which the EFCC must employ all legal means to ensure compliance.