EFCC, on Thursday, September 20, 2018, secured the conviction and sentencing of one Jones Patrick Biyere, a pilot, to 13 years imprisonment before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The convict was arraigned sometime in 2006 on an amended 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy and exporting of forged cheques.
Biyere alongside one Tony Adeyemi and a man simply identified as Eddy, who are still at large, had, on May 31, 2006 in Lagos, fraudulently forged and signed 10 Lloyd's TBS cheques with numbers 002108; 002104; 000096; 00091; 005263; 005260; 000147; 000144; 000546 and 000550.
The defendant was alleged to have attempted to export the said cheques to a foreign country through the offices of the United Parcel Services (UPS) situated at Somolu and Gbagada.
One of the counts reads:"That you, Jones Patrick Biyere (Alias Jimmy Johnson), Tony Adeyemi (at large) and Eddy (at large), on or about 31st May, 2006 at No. 15 Macarthy Street, Onikan, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, fraudulently and knowingly forged Lioyds TSB Cheque No. 002108 and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(2) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. 410 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 as amended by Act No. 62 of1999."
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail. In the course of the trial, the court had to revoke the bail in view of the defendant’s refusal to attend trial. The court had also frowned on the defendant’s bid to stall his trial by constantly changing his counsels who sought adjournments.
Delivering his judgment today, Justice Idris held that it was a ploy to continue to delay and frustrate the case, which he inherited from two judges of the court.
The Judge further held that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubts and found him guilty on counts 1 to 13.The defendant was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on counts 1 to 11 and 15 years on counts 12 and 13.
The sentences are to run concurrently.