Jerry Ogbonna, a retired naval captain, was sentenced to prison by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos State, for stealing and collecting N45 million under false pretenses.
Ogbonna and his company, Obyke System Consult Limited, got the N45 million from Diamond Bank Plc by falsely portraying the money as a mobilisation fee from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ Department of Petroleum Resources.
The former naval officer was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Lagos Zonal Command, according to a statement released by the anti-graft agency’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday.
The convict had previously appeared in front of Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos State High Court in 2016, but the case was dismissed after multiple attempts to get him to take his plea failed.
The case was then reassigned to Justice Dada, who arraigned him on five counts on April 19, 2018, to which he pled not guilty.
“That you, Navy Captain Jerry Ogbonna (retd.) and Obyke System Consult Ltd, with intent to defraud, dishonestly converted to your own use N45m, properties of Diamond Bank Plc, which was erroneously paid to you by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and was later reversed into your Fidelity Bank account on July 5, 2012 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, sometime in July 2012 at Lagos, within the Ikeja J
The prosecution, led by A. Ozioko, began trial on January 14, 2019 in light of his plea.
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To show the defendant’s guilt, the prosecution allegedly called six witnesses and presented many pieces of evidence.
“After the trial, Justice Dada found the defendant guilty of the charges and sentenced him to three years in jail on count one, seven years on count two, and three years on count five.
“In addition, Justice Dada ordered the corporation to be wound up and pay a fine of N5 million. The convict was also ordered to pay N4 million in reparation to Diamond Bank Plc, according to the statement.