A self-acclaimed Information Technologist, Jules Suinner, who was accused of defrauding a commercial bank of the sum of N25 million, was today, sentenced to a total of 48 years imprisonment, by a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The court presided over by Justice Chuka Obiozor had on last Friday, pronounced the convict, after founding him guilty of all six counts charge of conspiracy, fraudulent impersonation, being in possession of proceeds of illicit funds and internet fraud, leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Sentencing the convict today, after listened to the convict’s lawyer, Mr. Simeon Njoku and the EFCC counsel, Ekene Iheanachor on the stake on how the court should sentence him.
In urging the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing his client, said: “he is a first term offender without any record of previous conviction and father of many children, who solely depends on him”.
The EFCC lawyer, Ekene, while conceded that the convict is a first time offender to the knowledge of his agency. However, told the court the each punishment for the offences committed as prescribed by an amended Act of EFCC and urged the court to use its discretion in sentencing the convict.
Sentencing the convict, Justice Obiozor, after citing plethora of authorities held: “I have carefully considered the plea of leniency and equally noted period the convict spent in detention.
“The court is enjoined not to impose maximum fine on the first offender. I have considered the punishment on the of the offence.
“Consequently, the convict is hereby sentenced to four years in count one and two each, without an option of fine.
“The convict is sentenced to counts three, four, five and six each with option of fine.
“Terms of the sentence shall run concurrently and the period spent in detention shall be deduct from the sentencing period, that is, from June 28, 2016 to December 8, 2017, shall be deducted from the sentencing period.
“It also ordered that the sum of N1 million recovered from the convict shall be refund to the bank in the intern as bond and it shall be finally release to the bank if there is no appeal against the judgement”.
EFCC had on Monday, September 5, 2016 first arraigned the convict before Justice Babs Kuewumi of the same Court on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence to the tune of N37 million.
He was however rearraigned before Justice Obiozor sometimes in October, 2017, on amended charge of six count of defrauding the bank of N25 million.
To perfect the illicit act, the convict and other members of his team said to be at large, were said to hacked the email address and letterhead of a company named Greenview Development Nigeria Limited and used same to write a letter to the Bank to transfer the sum of N25 million to the account of ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society domiciled with United Bank For Africa, UBA.
The money was allegedly transferred on July 14, 2015.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Jules Suinner, on or about the
13th day of July 2015, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to obtain money under false pretence, conspired with ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society (still at large) and others (still at large) to fraudulently impersonate officials of Greenview Development Nigeria Limited”.
The convict pleaded not guilty to all the charge, which gave way for his trial.
During the trial, the EFCC called three witnesses who include: Victor Adewale, a banker, Adeoti Gabriel, an official of the company used in defrauding the bank and Edith Ephraim, an investigator with the EFCC.
EFCC also tendered several documents admitted as exhibits A to O4. While the convict was sole defence witness.
The convict was said to have sometimes in 2015, defrauded the bank by hacking into bank and used the email address and letterhead of a company named Greenview Development Nigeria Limited and used same to write a letter the bank to transfer the sum of N25 million, into the account of ICT Aid Foundation Cooperative Society domiciled with United Bank For Africa, UBA.