Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday, convicted and sentenced Onuoha Danhessy Akachuku to three months imprisonment, for defrauding an American, Maria Jose Alvarez the sum of $5,260.
Akachuku was first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office, on April 27, 2017 on a seven-count charge bordering on Conspiracy and Obtaining Money by False Pretense.
One of the counts read: “That you Onuoha Danhessy Akachukwu (alias Joe Dickson) sometimes between 2015 and 2016, at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of $2,370 from one Maria Jose Alvarez (an American) via Money Gram which you transferred into your account number 3071174186 domiciled with First Bank Plc under the pretence that you are Joe Dickson an American Engineer based in the United Kingdom willing to marry her, a pretext which you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against him and as the trial progressed, the prosecution counsel, R.E. Alao called three witnesses to establish the case.
However, Akachuku applied for a plea bargain and changed his plea to “guilty” and the bargain was adopted by both the prosecution and defence counsels.
Justice Omotosho convicted him accordingly and sentenced him to three months imprisonment and a fine of N200,000 only.
The convict was also asked to make restitution for the sum of $2000.