A Lagos Federal High Court today, convicted a Lagos-based trader, Isong Michael, for forging the receipt of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and failure and refusal to pay statutory service charge of N14, 700. 00, to the SON.

Justice Akintayo Aluko convicted the trader on the above charges, after he pleaded to the two counts charge made against him by the SON.

The convicted trader was brought before the court in an amended charge marked FHC/L/186c/2022.

The prosecutor Yusuf Lawan, while arraigning the convict last week, told the court that he committed the offences of offences in March 18 2022, at Olawole market Apapa, Lagos.

Lawan told the court that the convict forged a SON’s receipt numbered APP/243835 dated 14/03/2022 with RRR no. 2106-3141-9021, with an intent that it may be acted upon as genuine 

He also told the court that the convict evaded the payment of N14,700.00, which he ought to pay to the SON as service charge.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the convict, are contrary to Section 465 of the Criminal Code Act, cap C39 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 467 of the same law. 

He also told the court that the offence contravened section 31(1) of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act, 2015. 

The convict, pleaded admitted committing the offences.

Following his guilty plea, Justice Aluko adjourned till today for review of facts and sentence.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, the prosecutor after reviewing the facts of the matter, called Mr. Owolabi Oriole, an Investigator with the organization who tendered all the exhibits in the matter.

Upon admitted the exhibits, Justice Aluko pronounced the convict of the charges brought against him.

Consequently, the prosecutor urged the court to sentence him in accordance with section 31(1) of the Standard Organization of Nigeria Act.

He also urged the court to ordered the convict to pay double of the money he evaded, this he said was in accordance with a section of SON Act.

But lawyer to the convict, M. N. Umoru, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy in sentencing her client. The lawyer particularly urged the court to consider non-wasting the precious time of the court by the court.

The lawyer also urged the court take to consider section 311(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, and give her client non-custodian sentence and an option of fine in lieu of the jail-term.

Justice Aluko in his judgment, sentenced the convict to nine months imprisonment. The judge ordered that the jail-term commenced from March 18, 2023, when the convict was arrested and detained.

Justice Aluko also ordered the convict to pay the sum of N29, 400, 00, the double amount of the sum he evaded, as the punishment for the second count