Dec 20, 2019, 3:27 PM
This was after he pleaded guilty to 4 counts of economic crime, conspiracy to commit felony and two counts of cheating.
In count one, he was sentenced to pay a fine of D1million in default to serve a prison term of 5 years with hard labour with effect from the day he was arrested.
In count two, the accused was sentenced to pay a fine of D10,000 in default of payment to go to jail for 3 years with hard labour.
In count three, the accused was fined D5,000 in default to go to prison for 2 years with hard labour, and in count four, he was fined D5,000 in default to serve a prison term of 2 years with hard labour.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Amadi said the accused was on 2 June 2015 arraigned before the court on a 4-count charge of economic crime, conspiracy to commit felony and two counts of cheating.
The accused pleaded guilty to all the four counts.
He said the DPP narrated the facts of the case and tendered several exhibits, which were items recovered from the accused person by the investigators.
He said the accused admitted to the facts as narrated by the DPP as true, and that the items tendered and marked as exhibits were recovered from him.
Justice Amadi said the DPP then drew the court’s attention to the loss incurred by Gamtel calculated as D1,110,940, by QCell as D102,205 and Africell as D13,500, which were all shown in the charges.
He said the court convicted the accused on his own plea, and the DPP told the court they did not have any record of previous convictions of the accused.
Defence counsel S.M. Tambadou delivered a mitigation plea on behalf of the accused person.
Counsel told the court that Aretide Evande (at large), whose name was stated in the particulars of the offence, had not physically met with the accused.
They got in touch through the internet and that the man exploited the accused person’s technical knowledge of electronics, which was his normal means of livelihood, he said.
Counsel further said that the accused is the only son in a family of five children, and that the whole family, including his old and sick mother, depends on him for their sustenance.
He said the accused is 36 years old and a first-time offender, and had been remorseful and pleaded guilty to the charge in order to save the court’s time.
Counsel urged the court, in passing sentence, to take into account the provision of section 266 of the CPC that the accused was arrested on 27 March 2015 and has since remained in custody.
The family had sold a very important asset in order to pay compensation to Gamtel, QCell and Africell and prayed for the court not to impose a custodial sentence.
However, DPP replied that section 266 of the CPC does not apply to the instant case, because the accused person had already been convicted.
In passing sentence, Justice Amadi said the factors he had taken into account were the age of the accused, the fact of being a first-time offender and his guilty plea.
He also considered the nature of the offences committed under sections of the Criminal Code and also the provisions of section 6 of the Economic Crimes Act, and sentenced him accordingly.
In addition, the accused was hereby ordered to pay compensation as follows: the sum of D1 million to Gamtel, D100,000 to QCell, D13,000 to Africell.
The accused was given seven days within which to pay the fines and the compensations in order to be released from prison.
All the items admitted as exhibits 1 to 6 were forfeited to the state.[if gte mso 9]>