Car dealer jailed five years for stealing N9.5m

An Ikeja High Court, Lagos Thursday sentenced a car salesman, Michael Ugochukwu Nkwocha, to five years in prison for stealing N9, 500,000 from his uncle, Mr. Patrick Ekeh, resident in the United States of America (USA).

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Justice Kudirat Jose found Nkwocha guilty on a count of stealing contrary to Section 39 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, 2011, following over two years of trial.

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Nkwocha was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on December 13, 2013 on charge No. ID/435C/13.

The commission said sometime in January 2011, he converted the N9.5m, property of Ekeh, with intent to defraud.

Nkwocha pleaded not guilty and was granted N2,000,000 bail.

During trial, EFCC witness, Mrs. Francisca Okorafo, testified that she was the complainant’s elder sister and that he shipped cars to her in Nigeria from the US.

Okorafo said because of an educational programme she was running at the time, she handed over the car sales business to their cousin, Nkwocha.

The court heard that between 2008 and 2010, Ekeh shipped over 28 vehicles to Nkwocha in Lagos.

After an audit in 2010, Nkwocha could not account for four vehicles: two Honda Accord cars, one Infinity and a Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV).

Another EFCC witness, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sunday Afolayan told the court that during interogation, Nkwocha admitted selling the four vehicles for N10, 500,000 out of which he reportedly gave someone N3, 500,000 without Ekeh’s permission.

Mrs. Anita Imo was prosecution counsel while Mr. G. T. Agbaeren represented the defendant.

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