Secretary defrauds job seekers of N14m, jailed seven years

An Enugu State High Court has convicted and sentenced a worker with the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Mrs Stella Acharra, to seven years’ imprisonment for defrauding 13 job seekers of N14m.

The convict was arraigned in 2017 before Justice Cyprian Ajah by the Enugu State Police Command for obtaining under false pretences, an offence punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act, 2006.

The police prosecutor, Mr Damian Njoku-Umeh, in charge No: E/197C/2017 told the court that “Stella Achara in or about 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, in the Enugu Judicial Division did by false pretences and with intent to defraud, obtain from one Nwatarah Hope, Stella Egotanwa, Ogbe Onyinye, Nwufo Ifeoma, Aforka Clementina, Ikemefuna Ebonyi, Stella Onyeji, Mbah Ifeoma, Okoh Perpetua, Uche Onyia, Egbo Nonye, Igbokwe Patricia and Nwaizugbe Chioma, the total sum of N14m, by falsely pretending that you have the power to procure employment for them and that you would employ them as staff of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, New Haven, Enugu, which presentation you knew to be false.”

Delivering judgement in the suit on Wednesday, Justice Ajah found the defendant guilty of defrauding the job seekers while serving as the personal secretary to the former Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Jojo Onwukwe.

The court held that it was convinced by the five prosecution witnesses, including a police officer, who was part of the team that searched the convict’s house and one Mrs Stella Egotanwa, a personal assistant to the convict, through whom she (the convict) scammed the complainants under the guise that she would help them get employment in the hospital.

The court sentenced her to seven years’ imprisonment without an option of fine and ordered that the convict pay back the money she got from the complainants.

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