A court registrar, Oluronke Rosolu, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi of $330,000
An Ikeja High Court presided by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo on Monday found Rosolu guilty on the charges brought against her.
Mrs. Rosolu was therefore convicted on all the two counts charge of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences brought against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
She was said to have collapsed when he judgment was passed on her.
Mr. Lawal-Akapo, while sentencing Mrs. Rosolu, said: “the representation that she never collected $330,000 from the complainant is deceptive; the accused could not provide a strong alibi for her whereabouts when the fraud occurred.
“I find the accused guilty as charged.
“As a registrar of court, the accused should have been an image maker of the judiciary, but she acted in the contrary. She has to swallow her bitter pill.
“On count one, I sentence the accused to 10 years imprisonment and on count two I sentence the accused to 10 years imprisonment.
“Both sentences are to run concurrently,” the judge said.
Earlier, Mrs. Rosolu’s lawyer, Bamidele Ogundele, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
“My Lord, my client is a first-time offender without any criminal record and she has four children as dependants.
“My Lord, the society will not gain if her four children are abandoned without motherly care.
“She has been on suspension from the judiciary for over a year and she is retiring next year after 34 years of active service in the judiciary,” Ogundele sought mercy for his client.
The convict, who is a former registrar to Justice Joseph Oyewole, was tried for aiding Fred Ajudua, a one-time Lagos socialite to defraud Lt Gen. Bamaiyi (rtd) at Kirikiri Maximum Prisons between November 2004 and June 2005.
The fraud was perpetrated when Messrs. Ajudua and Bamaiyi were remanded in Kirikiri Prisons for different offences.
During Mrs. Rosolu’s trial, experts from EFCC and Mrs. Bamaiyi had testified that Mrs. Rosolu came to the prison during the period to help Ajudua funnel the funds from Bamaiyi.?
The anti-graft agency had alleged that Ajudua had made a false representation to Bamaiyi that the 330,000 dollars was the professional fees for the law firm of Afe Babalola and Co. to facilitate his (Bamaiyi’s) release from prison, a claim which the firm had since denied.
Two forensic experts from the EFCC had also testified during the trial that Mrs. Rosolu had failed a polygraph test.