Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere has sentenced an Indian national, Mr. Sandeep Gogia, to 22 years imprisonment for defrauding a firm to the tune of $250,000. The judge sentenced him after he was found guilty in the fraud charge brought against him and his company, Eastern Metal Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft commission had alleged that Gogia with one Arun Goswani, who is at large, defrauded by obtaining $250,000 from Boars Communication Limited under the pretence of having naira equivalent of the said amount.

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Kayode Oni, told the court that Gogia committed the offence while being the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Eastern Metal Limited in July 2015. The offence bordered on stealing, obtaining money by false pretence and stealing contrary to section 2015 and 2015 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. The offence also contravenes section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No 14, 2006.

The judge while delivering judgment found him guilty of conspiracy and obtaining under false pretence but freed him on allegation of stealing. Justice Lawal-Akapo, therefore, sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on the charge of conspiracy and 15 years on second count charge of obtaining money by false pretence. Both sentences will run concurrently from October 25, 2018.

The judge, however, freed him on the third count charge of stealing and ordered him to pay restitution of N59,750,000 to the victim. “The second defendant, Eastern Metals Limited is to be wind up and the asset forfeited to the Federal Government.”

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