A Fedral High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has sentenced a land racketeer, Joseph Adebayo, to seven years’ imprisonment for defrauding one Ikemefune Sunny of N700,000.
Adebayo was on Friday found guilty of one-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence.
The charge, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, read: “That you, Joseph Adebayo, on October 16, 2017 or thereabout, in Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, fraudulently and with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N700,000.00 only from one Ikemefune Sunny on the pretence that the money is for a plot of land located at the back of Christ High School, Odo-Ona Elewe, Area, Oluyole Local Government, Ibadan, which you purportedly wanted to sell to him, a representation you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence.”
Adebayo’s travail started when a petition was submitted against him at the commission’s office in Ibadan. The petitioner alleged that sometimes in October, 2017, he purchased a parcel of land from the accused person, adding that the land reportedly contained an uncompleted building.
The petitioner alleged that despite paying the complete sum as agreed, he was unable to take possession of the property as he was stopped by the original owner when he attempted to build a perimeter fence around the land.
He stated that he approached the accused person to either resolve the issue or return his money. Rather than refund the money, he said the accused person became elusive.
After conducting its investigations on the matter, the EFCC charged Adebayo.
The accused person pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him and was granted bail pending the determination of the matter.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Ifeanyi Agwu, presented two witnesses, whereas, the accused testified for himself.
At the court’s sitting on Friday, Justice Joseph Owolabi said he had analysed the evidences before the court and found the accused person guilty as charged.
The judge sentenced him to seven years in prison without an option of fine.