Justice O.A. Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja, handed down a one-year prison sentence to Ukoh Michael Odeh on Friday. Michael faced conviction on a single count of fraud, as charged by the Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His legal troubles began after the command received an intelligence report regarding the suspicious activities of individuals suspected of engaging in internet fraud in Makurdi, leading to his apprehension during a sting operation.
The charge reads: “That you, Ukoh Michael Odeh, between 2022 and 2023 in Makurdi, Benue State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fail to account for the source of N6,000,000 (Six Million Naira only) in your FCMB account No: 4668442010 when you reasonably ought to have known or suspected that the said unaccounted funds formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: Fraud and Money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 20(b) of the same Act”.
Upon the reading of the charge, he admitted his guilt. In light of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, M. Yusuf, requested the court to convict him as such.
Justice Egwuatu then proceeded to convict and sentence Michael to one year of imprisonment, giving him the option of paying a fine of N300,000. Additionally, the convict is obligated to forfeit N300,000 as restitution to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
Furthermore, the Infinix 7 smartphone, which was obtained through criminal activity, must also be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
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