Sunday, January 20, 2019

Businessman fined N100,000 for issuing N6m dud cheques

A businessman, Tita Lawrence, was on Friday fined N100,000 by an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos for issuing N6 million in dud cheques.

The fine was handed down by Justice Mojisola Dada, following Lawrence’s guilty plea to a four-count charge of issuance of dud cheques.

The convict had also entered a plea bargain agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In her judgment, Dada said the fine, which was issued in accordance with Section 1(1)(a) of the Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act, 2004, should serve as a deterrent to members of the public, who embarked on the crime of issuing dud cheques.

“The defendant is convicted as charged.

“The defendant is given a fine of N100,000 which is to be paid into the coffers of this court,” the judge ruled.

Earlier during proceedings, Mr T. J. Banjo, the Prosecuting Counsel for the EFCC, said the convict committed the offence in December, 2012 in Lagos.

“On Dec. 17, 2012 Lawrence issued an Access Bank cheque with number 13056092 for the sum of N671,000 to Mr Chuks Ojiego.

“On Dec. 19, 2012 the defendant issued two Access Bank cheque with numbers 13056075 and 13056090 for the sums of N1.8 million and N2 million, respectively to Ojiego.

“On Dec. 21, 2012, Lawrence also issued another Access Bank Cheque with number 13056089 in the sum of N1.5 million to Ojiego for the fourth time.

“When Ojiego presented the cheques at the bank, they were dishonoured because there were insufficient funds in Lawrence’s bank account,” Banjo said.

The prosecution said the offence violated Section 1(1)(a) of the Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act, 2004.

Counsel to Lawrence, Mr Shamsudeen Abubakar, asked the court for mercy when the court was sentencing the convict.

“My lord, I plead for leniency. He is a first time offender, he is remorseful and promises never to commit the offence again.

“The essence of punishment is to reform, rehabilitate and not to destroy. I pray the court gives the defendant a reformatory sentence.

“It is a mistake and I urge your lordship to give him a fine in accordance with Section 1(a)(1)paragraph 2 of the Dishonoured Cheques Offences Act,” he said.