Court Sentences Naira Hawker To 3 Months Community Service

A Lagos Federal High Court, has convicted and sentenced one Fabian John Itafor, for hawking Nigeria currency, to three months community service.

Fabian was given the jail-term by Justice Kehinde Olayiwola Ogundare, after he pleaded guilty to a count-charge slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

The convict, according to the prosecutor, Abubakar S. Wara, was arrested on February 24, 2024, at Leisure Event Center Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, where he was hawking new Naira notes.

He told the court that during the convict’s arrest, the sum of N347, 000.00, $1, £50 were found in his possession.

He also told the court that the convict’s illegal act, contravened Section 21(4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, and punishable under the same Act.

The charge against the convict reads: “that you Fabian John Itafor, on or about the 24th day of February 2024 at Leisure Event Center Wale Olateju Street, Victoria Island, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, hawked the sum of N347 000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty Seven Naira} issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007.”

The convict pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

Following his guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence him in accordance with the section of the Act, he was charged with.

However, the convict through his lawyer, claimed to be first time offender, pleaded for leniency and vowed not to engage in such Act.

His lawyer also pleaded with the court, to consider an option of fine in lieu of the custodian sentence.

Justice Ogundare, upon confirming from the prosecutor that the convict is a first time offender and without any record of previous conviction, sentenced him to three months community service, but ordered him to pay the sum of N50, 000, 00, in lieu of the sentencing. 

The judge also forfeited the convict’s POS machine and the sum of N347, 000, 00; $1, and £50, found on him during his arrest, to the federal government.