An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced a woman, Eucharia Okoye, an accountant of Canstop Nigeria Ltd to one year imprisonment for stealing N8 million worth of recharge cards from her employer.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okoye, who was the Head of Account of the company, was sentenced by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo following a plea bargain agreement she entered into with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Taiwo ordered that the convict, who had been remanded at the Kirikiri Female Prisons since Aug. 31, 2016, should start her one-year sentence from the day she was convicted.
“The court notes that the defendant has already spent approximately three years in prison custody.
“She is hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment, starting from the date of conviction,” Taiwo said.
Before Okoye was sentenced, her defence counsel, Mr A. Emedike, in his allocutus (plea for mercy) told the court that the defendant, who had previously been arraigned with one Kalu Okeh for the offence, was remorseful. He noted that Okeh had since entered a plea bargain agreement with the anti-graft commission and was serving an undisclosed sentence.
“It is the plea of the defendant that the court magnanimously extend its power of leniency because of the remorse shown by the defendant.
“This defendant had been in custody for a term more than prescribed by the law; I pray the court takes that into consideration when prescribing the sentence.
“She is remorseful, it is not in her character to commit such an act; she was a victim of Okeh who set her up for destruction.
“The lenience of this court will enable her to start a new life; she has no criminal record.
“She would not have fallen into this trap, but for the undue excitement that happens to women when they are entrapped by vicious men,” Emedike said.
According to Mr Frank Ofoma, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, the accountant committed the offence between December 2014 and July 2015 in Lagos.
“The convict goes by the aliases UK and Sinach; she committed the offence while she was a staff and Head of Account of Canstop Nigeria Ltd.
“She dishonestly converted to her own use N8 million worth of Airtel recharge cards,” Ofoma said.
The offence, he said, contravenes Sections 278(1)(b), 285(8) and (9)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. (NAN)