Businessman, Lawrence Maduagwu, bags 10-year jail term for $179,000 fraud

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has convicted  a businessman, Lawrence Maduagwu, to 10 years imprisonment for $179,000 fraud.

A statement obtained from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) website said that the convict was arraigned by the EFCC, Lagos Zonal office on Feb. 28, 2018, on a two-count charge.

The two-count charge bordered on stealing and obtaining $179,000 by false pretence.

It said that Maduagwu was introduced to the complainant, PMC Industry Limited, a Chinese company, through its Nigerian representative, Ohio Ileogben, as a businessman who deals in calcium chloride chemicals.

It stated that the convict, however, failed to pay for the 500 metric tonnes of calcium powder valued at the sum of $179,000, after taking delivery of the items and efforts to get him pay for the goods were unsuccessful.

It said that count one read: “That you, Lawrence Maduagwu, sometime in 2013, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud.

“Induced PMC Industry Limited, China to confer a benefit on you by supplying you 500 metric tonnes of calcium chloride powder valued at $179, 000 on the understanding that you will pay for the goods.

“But up till now, you have refused to do so.”

It read that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, thereby leading to his full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, S.O. Daji, called five witnesses and tendered several exhibits that were admitted in evidence by the court.

It said that the defendant, however, testified for himself and also called two other witnesses.

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During the sitting on June 19, 2019, parties adopted their final written addresses.

It added that in her judgement delivered on Sept. 11, 2019, Justice Dada convicted and sentenced the defendant to seven years imprisonment on count one and three years on count two.

Both sentences are to run concurrently effective Feb. 28, 2018, the date he was remanded by the court.

It said that the Judge also ordered that the convict make full restitution of the $179,000 which the EFCC must employ all legal means to ensure compliance.

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