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Farmer bags 21 years for printing fake Naira notes

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday sentenced a poultry farmer, James Onwuso to 21 years imprisonment for printing and being…

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday sentenced a poultry farmer, James Onwuso to 21 years imprisonment for printing and being in possession of counterfeit Naira notes.

The judge found him guilty on a three-count charge and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each of the counts. The sentences are to run concurrently.

The convict who was first arraigned before the court in 2012 had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail, but he was unable to meet the bail conditions. Consequently, he was remanded in prison custody until yesterday when he was convicted.

In proving her case, the prosecutor, Mrs Kehinde Bode-Ayeni from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, called one witness Moruf Animashaun, the Investigating Police Officer.

The IPO tendered the confessional statement of the accused, the counterfeit Naira notes, letter from the Central Bank of Nigeria confirming that the Naira notes found with the accused person were fake, the printing machine and ink.

During the trial, the convict’s counsels, Amos Igwe and Victor Nwana had walked out of the court and refused to go on with the matter while the accused told them not to represent him again.

The convict who was not represented during the judgment pleaded for mercy.

Justice Buba in his judgement, said: "It is not difficult for me to arrive at the verdict as the prosecution has proved the case beyond any reasonable doubt and the accused is hereby convicted accordingly on all the charges.

"In view of your plea and facts before me, you are hereby sentenced to seven years imprisonment on count one and another seven years for counts two and three; sentence to run concurrently beginning with the time of your arrest;15th November, 2015.

The counterfeit notes and machines seized from the convict should  be forwarded to Central Bank of Nigeria for destruction".
 

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