The scenario described by the Police on the Thursday, February 2, 2017, alleged attempt by Seun Egbeegbe and an accomplice to flee with foreign currencies put at N10 million easily falls under section 419 of the criminal code!
Unless the estranged lover of Nollywood star actress, Toyin Aimakhu, and his cohort can prove that they had the N10 million they wanted to exchange for the $9,000 and £3,000 on them at the premises of Gbagada General Hospital, they will possibly face a charge of “obtaining by false pretense” and stealing.
And they are liable to long years in jail if convicted.
Here are the punishment for “obtaining by false pretense”:
Criminal Code of Lagos State, 2011
Chapter 32, Section 311 and 312
Chapter 32 – Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating
Definition of false pretence.
- A false pretence means a representation, whether deliberate or reckless, made by word, in writing or by conduct, of a matter of fact or law, either past or present, which representation is false in fact or law, and which the person making it knows to be false or does not believe to be true.
Obtaining by false pretences.
- (1) Any person who by any false pretence, and with intent to defraud
(a) obtains, from any other person, in the State or in any other State for himself or any other person;
(b) induces any other person, in the State or in any other State, to deliver to any person- any property, whether or not the property is obtained or its delivery is induced through the medium of a contract induced by the false pretence commits an offence.
(2) A person who by false pretence, and with the intent to defraud, induces any other person, in the State or in any other State, to confer a benefit on him or on any other person by doing or permitting a thing to be done on the understanding that the benefit has been or will be paid for commits an offence.
(3) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) of this section is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for fifteen years.
And for stealing, here is what the law says:
Chapter 28, Section 278, 279 and 285
Chapter 28 – Stealing and like offences
Definition of Stealing.
- (1) Any person who dishonestly:
(a) takes the property of another person; or
(b) converts the property of another person for his own use or to the use of any other person,
is guilty of the offence of stealing.
(2) A person is deemed to dishonestly take or convert the property of another if he does so with:
(a) intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property;
(b) intent to permanently deprive any person who has a special interest in the property;
(c) intent to use the property as a pledge or a security;
(d) intent to part with the property on a condition as to its return which he may be unable to perform;
(e) intent to deal with the property in a manner that it cannot be returned in the condition it was in at the time of the taking or conversion; or
(f) intent to in the case of money, an intent to use it at his will although he may intend to repay the owner afterward.
(3) The term “special interest” includes any charge or lien on the property, any right arising from or dependent on holding possession of it, whether by the person entitled to such right or by another person on his behalf.
(4) The taking or conversion may be dishonest, although it is effected without secrecy or attempt at concealment.
(5) In the case of conversion, it is immaterial whether:
(a) the thing converted is taken for the purpose of conversion, or whether it is at the time of the conversion in the possession of the person who converts it; or
(b) the person who converts the property is the holder of a power of attorney for the disposition of it, or is otherwise authorised to dispose off the property.
(6) When a thing converted has been lost by the owner and found by the person who converts it, the conversion is not deemed to be dishonest, if at the time of the conversion the person taking or converting the thing does not know the owner, and believes on reasonable grounds that the owner cannot be found.
(7) A person shall not be deemed to take a thing unless he moves the thing or causes it to move.
Things capable of being stolen.
- (1) Anything which is the property of any person or a body corporate is capable of being stolen.
(2) ‘Property’ includes money and all other properties, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible properties which is the property of another.
Punishment for stealing.
285. (1)(a) Any person who steals any property is guilty of a felony, and liable, if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.