Fake petrol dealer bags 7-year jail term over N15m scam
A Federal High Court, sitting in Portharcourt, Rivers State has convicted Otti Leo and his company called Otileb Integrated Services Limited for obtaining N15 million under false pretence.
Presiding Justice A. T. Mohammed who found Leo guilty also ordered that his company: Otileb Integrated Services Limited be wound up by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
But the convict was prosecuted along with his company by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office.
EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade in a statement said Leo was arraigned on December 4, 2017, on two-count charges bordering on obtaining money under false pretences.
Orilade said one of the counts reads: “That you, Otti Leo, Otileb Integrated Services Limited, and others now at large sometime in 2016 at Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt Judicial Division did with intend to defraud, obtain the sum of N15,000.000 (Fifteen Million Naira) only from one Mr. Anyasi Mathew, (Managing Director of Ayas Oil Ltd) under the false pretense that you will lease a filling station to him for a period of ten years, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence, contrary to section 1(i)(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
He also added that Leo pleaded not guilty to the charges and the matter went into a full trial, with EFCC counsel, Celestina Okorie leading the prosecution.
Further, he said, “Leo’s journey to prison began when a petitioner alleged that, sometime in April 2016 the convict approached him with a proposal of leasing a petroleum Service Station to him in Aba, Abia State for a period of 10 years at the rate of N15million.
“The petitioner said that he got interested in the proposal and raised a draft of N15million in favour of the convict.
“However, when he wanted to take possession of the Station, he met stiff resistance from persons that claimed to be genuine agents of Mr. Alex Otti, the actual owner of the Station.
“The petitioner also claimed that the convict neither returned the money paid to him nor offered another Service Station to him”.
The Defence Counsel, D. O. Okoro, it was learnt, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy since the convict was a first offender.
But Justice Mohammed sentenced him to seven years imprisonment with an order of restitution of N15 million to the victim.