Charles Emmanuel Afaha, a former employee of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, has been given a 110-year term for fraud by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Wilson Uwujaren, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated in a statement on Friday, January 27, that Afaha was charged with eleven counts of forgery on October 13 by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Commission.
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But the defendant Afaha, however, pleaded not guilty.
Five witnesses were summoned by the prosecution, who also submitted a number of exhibits that were accepted as evidence, via the representation of TN Ndifon.
On Friday, January 27, Justice Okeke gave a verdict via Zoom, noting that “the prosecution established beyond a reasonable doubt the offence of forgery against the defendant in all counts.”
The defence attorney, Mfon Ben, urged the court to “show kindness in punishing him,” nonetheless.
Without the option of a fine, Afaha was given a sentence of 10 years in jail for each offence. The sentence begins on the same day as the arrest.
The court further mandated that as a condition of his release after serving his sentence, the prisoner must return the sum of N22, 848, 450. 00 to the Maritime Academy of Nigeria.
Afaha was detained, according to the EFCC, after the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, filed a lawsuit claiming fraud and the theft of public monies.
An investigation indicated that the prisoner, who worked in the academy’s procurement department, received large sums of money for the execution of fictitious projects from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron’s account and made many cash advance withdrawals.
“Afaha retired these money and added many invoice receipts to the Retirement of Cash Advance memoranda, all of which bear his signature.
The statement continued, “Further investigations also revealed that the said invoice receipts attached to the convict’s Retirement of Cash Advance memos, amounting to N22, 848, 450. 00 (Twenty-two million, Eight hundred and forty-eight thousand, four hundred and fifty naira), were all forged by Afaha.