Man Jailed 3 Months Over Breach Of Trust

A 50-year-old man, Mr Brendan Chima Okpara, has been sentenced to three months imprisonment by an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court in Wuse, Zone 6, for breach of trust and cheating.

Okpara, a resident of Open Gates Estate, Idu, was convicted on a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust and cheating.

Maifuwa Aibangbe, a 49-year-old finance consultant and fellow resident of Open Gates Estate, Idu, accused Okpara of collecting N16,370,000 (approximately $35,500) under the pretence of purchasing two Mercedes Benz E300, 2016 model cars. Aibangbe transferred the money to Okpara based on their agreement.

On January 10, 2024, the defendant was arraigned after several adjournments and denied committing the alleged offences. The defendant’s trial commenced on January 15, 2024, to enable the prosecution to prove its case.

Police prosecutor Okokon Udo Mbruk said Okpara was arraigned for a criminal breach of trust and cheating, contrary to Sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. Evidence and witness testimonies were presented during the trial, leading to Okpara’s conviction.

“In April 2021, Chima Brendan Okpara approached the victim with an offer to buy a Mercedes Benz E300, 2016 model, with attached pictures, at $14,500 plus additional repair costs of $1,950 and $1,200 shipment cost. Both agreed to an exchange rate of N460/$1.00. He paid him an initial sum of N4,600,000, representing $10,000, and N2,967,000.

“Subsequently, he offered another similar car on May 1, 2021, and the victim credited his same account with Union Bank, Majestic Concepts Union Bank Account 0123783463, with additional sums of N4,600,000, N2,530,000, N1,173,000, and N500,000, respectively. The total sum transferred to Chima Brendan Okpara’s bank account (Majestic Concepts Account 012378463) amounts to N16,370,000.”

His Lordship Farida Ibrahim ruled that Okpara was sentenced to three months in prison for the first count of criminal breach of trust without an option of a fine. For the second count of cheating, he received an additional three months with the option of a N25,000 fine.

She stated that Okpara would serve his sentence at Kuje or Suleja Correctional Centre.

The court also ordered Okpara to refund the outstanding N8.7 million to Aibangbe as restitution, failing which he will face an additional ten months in prison.

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