A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a 30-year-old businessman, Justin Onyewesi, to one year in prison for issuing a dud cheque of N742, 555 to one Mr. Ejike Itanyi, a dealer in phone accessories.
Justice Mohammed Idris gave the sentence following the confession of Onyewesi to the crime.
The convict was first arraigned before Idris on January 1, 2014 on four counts of fraud and issuance of dud cheque.
He had pleaded not guilty to the offence and was subsequently remanded at the prisons custody.
However on October 22, 2014, when the case resumed in court, Onyewesi had elected to change his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty”.
The case was then adjourned till Thursday for the prosecution to review the facts of the case.
At the resumed trial on Thursday, the prosecutor, Mr. Nosa Watson, told the court that on August 17, 2013, Onyewesi obtained 20,000 pieces of phone batteries of various kinds from Itanyi with a promise to issue a cheque to cover the transaction.
According to the prosecution the goods were worth N742, 555 and were collected at G Enterprises in the Okota area of the state.
Watson said that on August 19, 2013, Onyewesi issued a cheque to Itanyi for the said sum.
According to the prosecutor, the cheque was, however, dishonoured by the bank as the complainant was told that the issuer of the cheque did not have sufficient funds in his account.
Arguing further, Watson added that on September 5 and 17, 2013, the convict also issued cheques in the value of the sum, but they were again dishonoured for the same reason of insufficient funds.
The prosecution argued that Onyewesi violated sections 419, and 419 (b) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004 as well as Section 1(1) of the Dishonoured Cheques Act, 2004.
Consequently, Justice Idris convicted the accused and sentenced him to one year imprisonment.
The judge held, “Following the plea of the accused, he is convicted as charged, and is hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment.”