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Court jails man who refused to return N99,000 sent to him in error

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A federal high court, Makurdi, Benue state, has sentenced Orhena Bartholomew, a tailor, to prison for refusing to return N99,000 mistakenly transferred to him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction of the tailor on Monday.

The EFCC said it received a petition from a complainant, who operates Firstmonie Cash Point, alleging that Bartholomew came to him to transfer N1,000 to his friend in Lagos, but that he, the operator, mistakenly transferred N100,000 — an excess of N99,000.

Bartholomew had left the premises of the complainant before the operator realised the mistake that was made.

The complainant said he contacted Bartholomew to request a refund of N99,000, but that he claimed he was already on his way to Lagos and would not return.

According to the EFCC, the person whose account the money was transferred returned the excess to Bartholomew, who later used the money to purchase a Honda cub motorcycle for himself.

The commission arrested and charged him to court, where charges were read against him.

“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,” one of the charges read.

Bartholomew was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of N50,000 fine. His Honda cub motorcycle was also forfeited to the federal government, while the N99,000 transferred in error was paid in form of restitution to the complainant.

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