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A Borno State High Court has convicted a school proprietress, Josephine Udeh, for swindling her students the sum of N5 million.
This is according to a statement signed on Wednesday by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
Udeh was charged before Justice Aisha Kumaliya on a one-count charge of fraud.
Going by the statement, Udeh, who was the Proprietress of Dala Standard Secondary School, Maiduguri, collected the said sum meant for the 2017/2018 WAEC registration fees from 284 students of her school and converted it to her private use.
She had pleaded not guilty upon her arraignment on April 24, 2019.
According to the charges, the convict committed the crime between 2017 and 2018 and in the course of that trial, the prosecution presented 10 witnesses and 10 exhibits which pushed her to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the agency.
The commission said her offense is contravenes "Section 308 of the Penal Code Law cap 102 Laws of Borno State, Nigeria and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.”
The prosecution counsel, Benjamin Manji during the session, asked the court to substitute an earlier charge filed on April 9, 2019 with an amended charge of the day, July 31, 2019.
She pleaded guilty to the amended charge in line with the plea bargain agreement she opted for.
Following her guilty plea, the prosecution counsel prayed the court to convict her as charged.
However, the defense counsel, B.G Sanda, prayed for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendant has already repaid the misappropriated sum.
Consequently, Justice Kumaliya pronounced her guilty as charged with a fine of N150,000. She is to spend one year in prison custody if she defaults in the payment of the fine.
By: Samuel Mayowa