A Federal High Court in Enugu yesterday sentenced a businessman, Samuel Duru to six months imprisonment for failing to declare $96,000 at the airport. The court also ordered the forfeiture of the undeclared amount to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr. Michael Oni, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), told the court that Duru was arrested in December 2015 at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as he was to board a flight to China. Oni said that the accused had declared to the airport officials that he had only $10,000 with him but upon a search, $96,000 was found on him which prompted them to invite the EFCC. He said that the convict was later arraigned for money laundering and false declaration of his cash. Duru pleaded guilty to both charges.
The defence counsel, Mr. Ikuka Kennedy, appealed to the court to tamper justice with mercy as his client had pleaded guilty to the offences. He said: “My client is a businessman at Ariariah International Market, Aba and his business is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). He is a genuine businessman as well as a first-time offender.” Ruling on the matter, Justice M. N. Yunusa, said under the Criminal Administration of Justice Act, he was not under compulsion to make use of the plea bargain option as the evidence produced by the prosecution counsel was sufficient to convict the accused.