Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in
Warri, Delta State on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 convicted and sentenced one Otede Pio Meyeoghene to 10 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Meyeoghene was first arraigned in 2018 by the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC and later re-arraigned on July 12, 2021. Upon arraignment, the defendant had pleaded not guilty to the three count charge preferred against him by the Commission setting the stage for full trial.
In the cause of the trial, the prosecution counsel, I. M Elodi called two witnesses to prove the case against the defendant, while the defence also called two witnesses.
Delivering his judgement, Justice Abang stated that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore found the defendant guilty on the three counts.
“This offence of obtaining under false pretence is an endemic disease that needs an urgent diagnosis and treatment and it is important to put a punitive sentence that would serve as a deterrent to others,” the judge stated.
The judge, convicted and sentenced the defendant to 10 years imprisonment on each of the counts without an option of fine. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The trial judge also ordered the defendant to return to the nominal complainant the outstanding sum of N2,095 ,000 with 21% interest per annum from 2015 until fully liquidated.
The EFCC said Meyeoghene’s journey to prison began when in 2015 he collected N2.5 million from the complainant on the pretext that he was investing it for the purchase of a truck for waste management in Rivers State.
The complainant stated that after making the payment he did not hear from the defendant again, and all efforts to recover his money were futile.