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Court jails man for refusing to return N99,000 transferred to him in error

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One Orhena Bartholomew has been brought before Justice Mobolaji Oljuwon of the Federal High Court in Markurdi, Benue State, by the Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for refusing to return the sum of N99,000 transferred to him in error.

Bartholomew, who is said to be a tailor, had gone to a Firstmonie Cash Point to transfer N1,000 only to his friend in Lagos, however, the operator, mistakenly transferred N100,000.

Minutes after Bartholomew had left, the operator realised his mistake and contacted him to refund the N99,000 balance, but Bartholomew claimed he was already on his way to Lagos and would not return.

More so, on seeing the alert, his friend in Lagos, sent the entire N99,000 back to Mr Bartholomew’s account. However, instead of Mr Bartholomew sending it to the agent, he converted it to his personal use and bought a Honda cub motorcycle with it.

One of the charges against him reads:

“That you, Orhena Sesugh Bartholomewon on or about 15th of October, 2019 in Makurdi, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, without lawful authority engaged in acquisition of a super cub Honda motorcycle knowing that the said motorcycle was proceed of criminal activity and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 18(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 18(2) of the same Act.”

He pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following his plea, prosecution counsel, G. G. Chai-Yakua urged the court to accept a plea bargain agreement earlier reached with the defendant and convict him accordingly.

Justice Olajuwon convicted him and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with option of N50,000 fine.

Meanwhile, the sum of N99,999.00 has been paid as restitution to the complainant during the course of the investigation by Bartholomew. He also forfeited his Honda cub motorcycle to the federal government.