One who is familiar with the highpoint of the wolf’s cry story, need not struggle to discern that giving false information could only bear sour tale.
This is the predicament of two persons, Dominic Okem and Chukwunonso Igweonu, who have been convicted and sentenced to two months imprisonment each for conspiracy and giving misleading and false information.
Pronouncing judgement on the duo who pleaded guilty, the judge, Justice I.M. Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on March 4, 2021, ordered imprisonment of the convicts.
They were arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a two-count charges bordering on giving false information.
One of the charges read: “That you Dominic Okem and Chukwunonso Igweonu on or about the 22nd Day of January, 2021 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire between yourselves to give false information to officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to wilt: huge fund were found at Enu/Akwu Street, Federal Housing Estate, in Calabar Cross Rivers State, which information turned out to be false, untrue/misleading and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 39 (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
Following their “guilty” plea, prosecution counsel, F.O. Amama prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
But the defence counsel. E. Wanogho prayed the court not to raise its hammer too hard as the defendants were actually carrying out their civic responsibilities in line with the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government.
The lawyer regretted that the effort to expose the proceeds of crime turned out otherwise.
In his judgement, Justice Sani found Okem and Igweonu guilty as charged and convicted and sentenced them to two months imprisonment, with an option of fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) each.
Trouble began for the duo when they misinformed the EFCC that they saw a huge sum of money in a house, located at Enu-Aqua in Cross River State.
While operatives of the anti-graft agency executed a search warrant on the said property, nothing incriminating was found.