Travel agent gets 5 years’ imprisonment for defrauding €40,000

Travel agent bags 5 years' imprisonment for defrauding €40,000 - BROAD NEWS

An Ikeja Special Offences Court  on Wednesday sentenced a 50-year-old travel agent, Abiodun Sadiq, to five years’ imprisonment for defrauding a man of 40,000 Euros for Maltese citizenship.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo found Sadiq guilty as charged and ordered  him to make  restitution to his victim, Mr Babatunde Emmanuel.

Taiwo said that the prosecution proved all the seven counts against the defendant beyond  reasonable  doubt.

She sentenced the convict to five years’ in prison on count one, and two years’ jail term each on counts two to seven.

The judge, however,  held that the sentences should run concurrently.

Defence counsel, Mr P.A. Awe, prayed the court  to temper justice with mercy and  grant a non-custodian sentence to the convict.

NAN reports that the convict had pleaded not guilty to an  amended seven-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and forgery.

He was arraigned by the  Economic and Financial Crime Commission for parading himself as  an agent of Maltese Government and defrauding Emmanuel of the sum.

During trial, prosecution team lead by Mr S.O. Daji presented four  witnesses and tendered eight exhibits to prove the case against Sadiq.

Daji told the court that the convict committed the offences between May 14, 2019 and July 23, 2019 in Lagos State.

The prosecution said  that the  convict fraudulently collected the sum from Emmanuel for a Maltese Government citizenship investment programme  and procurement of Maltese International Passport.

He said the convict also forged an international passport with Number 7255732 with name –  Babatunde Emmanuel Babalola  – purporting the said passport to emanate  from Passport Office in Malta.

He added that Emmanuel, also the second prosecution witness, narrated how he was humiliated in Europe and treated like a terrorist due to the forged  passport.

Daji said the convict also forged two other Maltese international passports with names –  Vincent Genesis  Oyinlola and Vincent Olivia Ashinedun.

He noted that the offences violated Section1(1)(a) (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences, 2006, and Section 363 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011 (NAN)

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