Ebonyi court jails farmer seven years for swindling business partner N1.9m


Uba Group


A high court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has convicted one Godwin Jonah, a Taraba State-based rice farmer to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine for obtaining money from his unsuspecting business partner under false pretence.

The court, presided over by Justice Iheanacho Chima, found Jonah guilty of obtaining the sum of N1.9 million from one Cornelius Ali-Igiri under false pretence.

The judge ordered that the convict should refund to the complainant the said money taken in 2016.

Ali-Igiri had demanded for the payment of the sum of N8, 730,000 as general damages and return on investment since 2016 till date.

The Point gathered that the convict and the complainant once met at a herbal home in Taraba State where they accompanied their sick relatives to get treated for their illnesses early in 2016 and eventually exchanged contacts.

In the course of their discussions, the complainant, who learnt that the convict was an all-season rice farmer in Taraba State, gave his new-found friend the sum of N1.9million to acquire a parcel of land to cultivate rice for him.

However, at the end of the harvest in 2017, Jonah allegedly failed to refund the invested amount to Ali-Igiri, thereby leading to a court case.

The convict was said to have committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (2), punishable under sections 3, 4, of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act Cap A6, Volume 1, Laws of Nigeria.

The convict claimed that he failed because he was unable to meet up with the terms of agreement as a result of poor yield of rice in 2017, thereby prompting him to sell the little yield in preparation for a new season.

He lamented, however, that rather than being allowed to cultivate rice in the new season, the complainant debarred him by sending law enforcement agents after him.