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Court sentences man to 6 months jail for $2,000 fraud

An FCT High Court in Kubwa, on Thursday, sentenced one Kingsley Edomwonyi to six months in the correctional facility for $2,000 food stamp fraud.

Justice Asmau Akanbi-Yusuf convicted and sentenced Edomwonyi after he pleaded guilty to the offence of obtaining by false pretences.

She, however, granted the convict an option to pay a N250,000 fine in place of the jail term.

Akanbi-Yusuf also ordered that the items recovered from Edomwonyi should be returned to the owners as stated in the plea bargain agreement.

The judge advised the convict to desist from committing crimes and be of good behaviour.

Earlier, the defence counsel, Mrs Precious Oriaku, had pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

“I pray for the court to exercise its discretion with leniency. Edomwonyi is remorseful and understands the gravity of his offence.

“He is a family man whose wife just gave birth,” Oriaku said.

The prosecution counsel, Mrs Ijeabalum Diribe, however, did not object to the plea for leniency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Diribe told the court that Edomwonyi and his defence counsel had entered and signed a plea bargain dated Feb. 28, and filed in March.

She urged the court to sentence and convict Edomwonyi in line with the terms of the plea bargain entered.

The counsel said that some of Edomwonyi’s emails were attached to the evidence including money returned, his cellphone and two laptops, which were tendered in court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Edomwonyi with cheating, to which he pleaded guilty.

Diribe said that Edomwonyi fraudulently used fake email accounts and social security numbers of U.S citizens to apply and collect food stamps to the tune of $2000.

She said Edomwonyi committed the crime sometime in 2021, adding that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 320 of the Penal Code Act.

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