The trio of Adekunle Akinsinde Alabi, Bakare Taofeek Ajibola and Olawepo Segun Ayinde have been sentenced to two years imprisonment each.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court convicted and sentenced the trio for currency counterfeiting to the tune of $269.000 USD in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, June 26, 2023.
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.”
They initially pleaded “not guilty” to the four-count charge preferred against them.
However, in the face of the overwhelming evidence against them, they changed their “not guilty” plea to “guilty”, thereby prompting the need to amend the charges.
Following their guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, G.C. Akaogu, called on Okara Godwin, an operative of the EFCC, to review the facts.
Okara told the court that the defendants were arrested sometime in January 2023.
“Upon their arrest, they wrote their statements, investigations were conducted and forensic evidence was 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.
Justice Oweibo admitted them as exhibits A, B, C, D and E and convicted the defendants as charged.
The defence counsel, Mercy Akhabue Ozumobi, pleaded for leniency, saying, “ They are ignorant and were used. They are breadwinners in their homes and are 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 an N500,000 fine.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the 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.
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