An Oyo State High Court has convicted the former Deputy Chief Registrar, Mutiat Omobola Adio, for issuing a dud cheque of N1.5 million to an auto dealer. The judge, Justice Lekan Owalabi, on Friday, sentenced Adio, a former deputy chief registrar of Oyo State judiciary, to three years’ imprisonment, having pleaded guilty through plea bargain.
The conviction was secured by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFC), Ibadan Zonal Office, which prosecuted her for committing “the offence of obtaining money by false pretense and issuance of dishonored cheque contrary to Section 419 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000 and Section 1 (1) (b) of the Dishonored Cheque (Offences) Act, Cap. D11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
The Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that Adio obtained a 2000 Model Toyota Pathfinder SUV valued at N1.5 million from a man, Fabunmi Olatunji Samuel, of Fatai Olanrewaju Motors, by pretending to him that the money would be paid once the cheque she issued in the said value was presented to her bank.
He said: “The victim released the said vehicle to her but the cheque was dishonoured within three months of issuance for insufficient funds in the account.”
Upon arraignment on January 30, 2018, the defendant initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but later changed her plea to ‘guilty’, after a plea bargain agreement which led to the amendment of the charge. Justice Owolabi thereafter pronounced the defendant guilty of the offence and sentenced her to three years in prison.
The court also ordered her to restitute her victim, “Fabunmi Olatunji Samuel of Fatai Olanrewaju Motors the sum of N500,000 in addition to the sum of N1 million she had previously paid in restitution to the victim”.
Adio, who was a magistrate before becoming a Deputy Chief Registrar in the Oyo State Judiciary, had previously been jailed twice for fraud-related offences. On May 18, 2018, she was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for obtaining N9.2 million from one Abiodun Olonade, a Nigerian resident in Ireland, by false pretence.
Also, on March 6, 2020 she was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for stealing N22,375,913 from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc