Thursday, April 21, 2016 5:55 pm
Two Nigerian businessmen, Nwadinobi Chibuike and Sunday Uzoigwe, have lost a total of $3,250 to the Federal Government for false declaration of monies in their custody during a business trip abroad.
The accused, who were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Enugu, on a one-count charge of money laundering pleaded guilty of the charge.
The prosecution witness, Mr Mizammil Inuwa, told the court that the accused persons were arrested at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, on Sept. 8, 2015.
Chibuike was travelling to Dubai while Uzoigwe was travelling to China at the time of their arrest.
Inuwa said that the accused failed to declare to officers of the Nigeria Customs Service at the airport the exact amount of foreign currencies they were travelling with.
He said that Chibuike had with him US$43,150, but only declared US$40,000, adding that Sunday had with him US$45,100, but declared US$45,000.
He said that though the accused were found to be genuine businessmen, but they flouted the regulations at the airport.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mainforce Ekwu, requested the court to convict the accused based on available evidence.
He, however, said that the accused persons had agreed on a plea bargain in line with Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and the regulations of the EFCC.
Ekwu told the court that since the accused persons had agreed on a plea bargain that they should forfeit the undeclared sums instead of a two-year imprisonment.
The defence counsel, Mr K. Agbowo, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, adding that the accused persons had already signed for a plea bargain.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, upheld the plea bargain application, adding that the accused persons would forfeit the undisclosed sums and they were discharged.