An Ikeja High Court, Lagos, Monday, sentenced Mrs. Rotimi Idowu Rosulu, a former court registrar into 10-year imprisonment for allegedly defrauding Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd) to the tune of $330,000.
The court, presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, convicted and sentenced the accused after founding her guilty in a two count charge of obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud levelled against her by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice Lawal-Akapo, while delivering judgment, held that the evidence of the prosecution is overwhelming, and that the prosecution has been able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge said; “I found out that the accused visited ‘kirikiri prison on 23 October, 6 November and 20 November 2014. The prosecution called six witnesses and tendered 10 exhibits to prove its case, and that an accused person can be convicted based on a confessional statement and circumstantial evidence.”
The judge also held that Bamaiyi’s testimony that the defendant collected the money was neither challenged nor contradicted.
“I have read thoroughly the final written address of the prosecution and the defence counsels and I have also studied the case file on the issues submitted by both parties.
“I hereby found out the conspiracy to defraud against the defendant”, the judge stated.
Justice Lawal-Akapo also added that as a court registrar, “the defendant supposed to be an image maker but decided to do the opposite.
“I therefore sentenced the defendant to 10 years imprisonment on each count,” the judge held.
It would be recalled that Mrs. Idowu Rosulu, who started her caeer as a court registrar about 34 years ago was arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence; and obtaining money by false pretence.
The EFCC had alleged that a Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua defrauded Bamaiyi by claiming to have close ties with Justice Oyewole, before whom Bamaiyi was standing trial.
The charge read in part: “Rosulu Idowu Oluronke, Fred Chijindu Ajudua, Alumile Adedeji a.k.a. Ade Bendel (still at large), one Mr. Jonathan (still at large), one Mr. Kenneth (still at large), Princess Hamabon William (still at large) and others still at large, on November 20, 2004, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of $330,000 from retired Lieutenant General Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi, by falsely claiming to Bamaiyi that the $330,000 was part payment for professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his (Bamaiyi) release from prison custody.”
The offence according to EFCC is contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 13 of 1995 as amended by Act No. 62 of 1999.