Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court has convicted and sentenced the AG Moeller Nigeria Limited and its Managing Director, Adeloye Olukemi, to 16 years imprisonment for operating financial business without a valid Central Bank of Nigera (CBN) licence.
The duo were arraigned were arraigned before the court on a 5 – count charge bordering on conspiracy , felony, fraud and operating financial business without a valid CBN licence.
In the charge, the Prosecution accused the convicts of obtaining the sum of N80 million from the Chairman of Cross Country Limited, Mr. Bube Okorodudu, in excess of the amount due to them.
One of the counts reads: “That you Adeloye Richard Olukemi ‘M’ between March, 2007 and January, 2010 at the same place in the aforesaid Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N80m from one Bube Okorodudu, the Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cross Country Limited in excess of the capital sum of N140m advanced to him through the medium of a contract of finance lease facility, induced by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a-c) and Section 1(2) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.
On their arraignment, Adeloye and AG Moeller, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
While delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Abang upheld all the argument and issue for determination raised by the prosecution, noted that prosecution had prove it case beyond reason doubt and found the convicts guilty of all the charges preferred against them.
“After the closed of prosecution’s case, the convicts initially filed and moved a no-case submission, which was overruled and base on the ruling, they opened their defence.
“In their defence, there is no dispute over allegation of operating financial business without a valid CBN’s license because Olukemi confirmed under cross-examination that their operation on financial business was being done without licence from the appropriate authority which is CBN.
“Beside, there is no contradiction on all the exhibits tendered by the prosecution to proof their cave, most especially, 2002 CBN guidelines for financial business operations.
“With all the evidences and exhibits before the court, there is no doubt the accused are guilty of the offences preferred against them by the prosecution. Ignorance is not an excuse in in law so, therefore the court found duo guilty of the five count”, the court held.
The court however slammed one year jail term on Olukemi on count one, three years on count two, seven years on count four and five years on count five, making 16 years imprisonment while on count three , AG Moeller Nigeria Limited was ordered to pay fine of One Million Naira to the Federal Government.
The court also ordered company to refund some N80 million to Cross Country Limited.
All the various jail term will commence from the day judgment was delivered and run concurrently.
AG Moeller and Olukemi were charged following Okorodudu and Cross Country’s petition to the CBN Governor on March 5, 2011.