Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Makurdi Zonal Office has secured the conviction of one Ikechukwu Sunday Onovo, an ATM fraudster.
Recall that the commission had a few weeks ago arrested, investigated and taken Onovo before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon sitting at Federal High Court Makurdi, Benue State on a one-count amended charge.
When the charge was read to him, the accused pleaded “guilty” and the prosecuting counsel, Mary Onoja, urged the court to accept the plea bargain and convict him accordingly.
However, following the plea bargain arrangement between him and the commission, he was arraigned on the one-count amended charge that replaced the initial charge against him.
Justice Olajuwon pronounced him guilty and convicted him accordingly. He also ordered that the convict should pay a fine of N500,000 to the Federal government of Nigeria.
The convict also returned the cumulative sum of N390,000 as restitution to the victim.
The court ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s Peugeot 406 with registration Number Kano AR 163 FGE, and chassis number 845780 to the Federal government as proceeds of crime and remanded him in prison custody pending the payment of his fine.
It will be recalled that a petition was written to the EFCC by the victim against Union Bank Branch, Makurdi, alleging that he had an account with the bank.
The petitioner had stated that he sent his two brothers to withdraw money using ATM card from a machine located at the Post office branch.
The ATM machine seized the card and they entered the bank to complain but were told that the officer in charge was not around to attend to them, that they should come back the next day.
That after a while, he received a debit alert of N392, 227 from his account credited to an unknown account.
Following investigations, the convict was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on the May 2, 2019, at First Bank Plc premises Otukpo, Benue State, in relation to a case of ATM theft of the sum of N390,000.00 from the Union Bank account of one Muktar Ali, with account number 0046285378.