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  • Crime
  • Updated: June 18, 2024

Court jails man for currency racketeering in Enugu

Court jails man for currency racketeering in Enugu

The Enugu Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the prosecution of Onuigbo Chibuzor on a one-count charge of currency racketeering.

On Tuesday, the suspect pleaded guilty in front of Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court in Enugu.

Chibuzor was detained at Otigba in Fresh Haven, Enugu State, after selling N40,000.00 in fresh Naira notes for N60,000.00.

The lone count charge reads: “That you, Onuigbo Chibuzor on the 8th of June, 2024 at Enugu, Enugu State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, hawked the total sum of Forty Thousand Naira (N40, 000. 00) mints in Two Hundred Naira (200) denominations, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the same Act”.

The EFCC Counsel, Ajobiewe Rotimi Enitan, reviewed the facts of the case and presented the defendant's confessional remarks and the aforementioned money, which were entered into evidence.

In a plea of allocutus, defence attorney I. Davidson asked the court to balance justice with mercy, noting that "he is a first-time offender and a family man with three children."

Justice Umar convicted and sentenced Chibuzor to three months in jail, with the option of a fine of N200,000.00.

The court additionally directed that the N40,000 be restored to the Federal Government's Treasury Single Account.    

In the same vein, Enugu State Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned  Nwachukwu Ifeanyi for alleged currency racketeering and operating a bureau de change business without appropriate licence.

Ifeanyi was arraigned on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Independence Layout, Enugu State.

Upon reading out a two-count charge against him, Ifeanyi pleaded “not guilty”.

The two-count charge reads: “That you, Nwachukwu Ifeanyi, sometime in February 2024, at Douglas Road, Owerri, imo State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, hawked the total sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000. 00) mints in Five Hundred Naira (500) denominations, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (4) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 21 (1) of the same Act."

As contained in a statement by the commission on Wednesday, counsel to the EFCC, Christiana Chioma Igwe prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel, U. E. Ibekwe informed the court about a pending bail application before it. 

According to the statement, Ibekwe attempted to move the said application but was vehemently opposed by Igwe because “the prosecution was just served this morning and we need time to respond my Lord. It is not ripe for hearing my Lord."

After listening to both parties, Justice Umar adjourned the matter to June 4, 2024, for hearing of bail application while the defendant was remanded at Enugu State Correctional facility.

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