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Ex-soldier Bags seven years Jail term for currency counterfeiting

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday February 11, 2016 sentenced a former army officer, James Onwuso, to seven years imprisonment for forging the naira.

He pleaded guilty to the offence, saying he started the business after retiring from the army.

Justice Ibrahim Buba found him guilty of a three count charge of counterfeiting different naira denominations, forgery of bank notes and possession of fake currency.

Prosecution counsel, Mrs. Kehinde Bode-Ayeni, said the convict was arrested on November 15, 2011.

She said counterfeit N1000, N500, and N200 notes were found on him.

Also recovered from him were machines and other materials used in currency forgery.

The convict, who had no legal representation, was first arraigned in 2012.

During trial, the prosecution tendered a statement in which the convict said he served in the Nigerian Army.

According to him, when he retired, he started the counterfeiting business after acquiring a printing machine.

He also had a supplier who brought special papers to him.

Justice Buba held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“In view of his plea and facts before me, you are hereby sentenced to seven years imprisonment,” the judge said.

The sentence on all counts, he said, would run concurrently from when Onwuso was arrested.

The counterfeit notes and machines are to be sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for destruction, the judge ordered.

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