Court Jails 3 For Currency Counterfeiting

 

A Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted and sentenced the trio of Adekunle Akinsinde Alabi, Bakare Taofeek Ajibola and Olawepo Segun Ayinde to two years imprisonment each for currency counterfeiting to the tune of $269.000 USD.

The Fake US Dollars Seized From The Convicts

Justice Nicholas Oweibo passed sentenced after they changed their guilty plea, to the charges mad against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The convicts had initially pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge preferred against them.

However, in the face of the overwhelming evidence against them, at the resumed hearing of the charge, the convicts told the court of their intentions to change their plea “not guilty” plea to “guilty”, thereby prompting the need to amend the charges.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Adekunle Akinsinde Alabi, Bakare Taofeek Ajibola and Olawepo Segun Ayinde, on the 20th January, 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, had in your possession the sum of $269.000 USD (Two Hundred and Sixty-Nine Thousand United States Dollars) worth of counterfeit currency, contrary to and punishable under Section 5(1)(b) of Counterfeit Currency Special Provisions) Act Cap. C35, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Following their guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, G. C. Akaogu, called on Okara Godwin, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts.

In reviewing the facts of the charge, Okara told the court that the defendants were arrested sometime in January 2023. And that upon their arrest, they wrote their statements, investigations were conducted and forensic evidence documented.

Akaogu further applied to tender, in evidence, their extrajudicial statements, admission of confessional statement forms ,counterfeit notes and forensic investigation documents from the EFCC laboratory, which were admitted by the court.

The defence counsel, Mercy Akhabue Ozumobi, pleaded for leniency, saying that they are ignorant and were used by scrupulous persons.

Their lawyer also told the court that her clients are first time offenders and bread winners in their homes, and that they have became remorseful for their actions.

Justice Oweibo sentenced the defendants to two years imprisonment each, effective from the date of arrest in January, with an option of N500,000 fine.

The convicts were arrested by operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in collaboration with the EFCC on January 19, 2023 in the Oniru area of Lagos state, following intelligence reports received from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).