An Ikeja Special Offence Court has sentenced business man, Chukwuemeka Ekwunife to 10years in jail for theft.
Chukwuemeka Ekwunife and His company, Structured Energy were brought to court on 14th, July for the delivery of judgement on case ID/3154C/16 -FRN Vs CHUKWUEMEKA EKWUNIFE AND STRUCTURED ENERGY LIMITED on 8 count charge of stealing by fraudulent diversion after six years of legal battle and several attempts by Ekwunife to blackmail the complainant, Nepal Oil & Gas Services Limited.
Emeka Ekwunife used his position while in the company as Head of Business Development and Strategy to divert and embezzle company’s funds. Upon his resignation on July 8, 2015, another officer of the company took up the task of recovering funds from business accounts managed by the defendant. It was first discovered that the outstanding funds accruing to the company from three of the company’s clients amounting to N67,598,000 had been paid to Structured Energy Limited’s account ( a company belonging to the defendant, Emeka Ekwunife and his wife) on his instruction. The company again discovered a diversion of N85,000,000 yet from another client.
Upon investigation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made series of other diversions including about N6,500,000, another N25m and series of other diversions.According to the commission, the offence was punishable under sections 285 (8), 278 (b), of the criminal laws of Nigeria.
The counsel to the EFCC , Bar. Chukwuemeka Akaogu, proved 6 out the 8 counts charge beyond reasonable doubt to secure the win for the commission.
Delivering judgement, Justice S Solebo convicted and sentenced Emeka Ekwunife to 10years in jail with an option of fine of N50m and no provisions for restitution to the complaint.