A Magistrate Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has sentenced one Asaba-based pastor identified as Joshua Egwu to 5 years in prison after he was convicted on a two-count charge of conspiracy and advance fee fraud (419) for obtaining the sum of N700,000 from one Benedict Obidinma under false pretense.
The cleric was sentenced to five years in prison with hard labour; he was sentenced to three years on the first count and two years on the second count. Both sentences are to run concurrently. The Chief Magistrate S. Ehikwe also sentenced his accomplice, one Ekene Ilona, to the same five years imprisonment, for luring the victim, who was a bosom friend to him.
The Prosecution of the case had called two witnesses and tendered six exhibits to prove its case against the accused persons. Convinced beyond reasonable doubt, the Magistrate had given the sentence.
The charge against the convict read: “That you, Ekene Ilona (Melody) and Pastor Joshua Egwu, on or about September 15, 2011, at Asaba, within the Asaba magisterial district, did by false pretence, obtain the sum of N700,000 from one Benedict Obidinma by presenting a proposal for the supply of blue gas, a proposal you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 419 of the criminal code cap C21 volume 1, laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.”