Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced two businessmen, Nnamdi Okoye and Ikechukwu Ezeogwum to a total of eight years and six months imprisonment for trademark theft.
The convicts were found guilty and sentenced to the jail term on charges bordering on felony, forgery, unlawful possession of trademark of Above Oil Sheen Hair Spray products and defrauding Dubas N Ches Commercial Company Limited of its valuable property.
Justice Abang gave the verdict nine years after the businessmen were arraigned before him.
While reviewing the facts of the case, Justice Abang said that in analysing the matter before him, there was a concrete evidence that there was a link between the first and second convicts as the second convict admitted in his statement to the police that he gave the product to the first convict and also admitted before the police that he was not the first to produce the product in question.
Abang also said that the second prosecution witness who was a staff of PW1, also linked the first convict to the crime, saying that she went to the shop of the first convict and bought three cartons of the product and obtained a receipt.
The trial judge said that there was overwhelming evidence that the convicts conspired to forge the trade mark of the original owner and consequently convicted both of them on the four-count charge.
Sentencing the convicts, Justice Abang said: “The convicts are not showing remorse in this matter. I see (the) convicts as unrepentant criminals who are reaping from where they did not sow. They intentionally forged the products; they had opportunity to resolve the matter amicable but hardened their minds.
“I therefore sentenced both convicts to seven years imprisonment each on count one, seven years imprisonment each on count two, six months on counts three and four respectively.”
Justice Abang said the term of imprisonment should run concurrently
The two convicts and others said to be at large, according to the charge marked FHC/L/225c/2009, had sometime between April 2009 and May 2009 at the Trade Fair Complex along Badagry Expressway, Lagos, conspired to commit felony to wit: forgery, unlawful possession of trade mark of Above Oil Sheen Hair spray products and defrauding Dubas N Ches Commercial Company Limited of their valuable (i.e. illegal sales of “Above Oil Sheen Hair Spray” products and stealing, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act cap 038 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.