LAGOS — Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has sentenced a Chinese man to 24 months imprisonment for ripping up Naira notes.
The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), secured the conviction of the Chinese national, identified as Li Lei Lei, on Tuesday.
Li was arrested after “mutilating the Nigerian currency” during an altercation with airport officials while he was trying to board a flight to Kenya on May 17, 2022, the EFCC said in a statement on Tuesday.
He “angrily tore to pieces” the Naira notes to the tune of Three Thousand, Two Hundred Naira (N3, 200) when Immigration officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, searched his luggage for drugs and incriminating items, the commission added.
The convict was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on tampering of the Nigerian note, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Establishment) Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Li Lei Lei, on or about the 17th day of May, 2022, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, tampered with One Thousand Naira (N1,000) Note, with serial number 947882 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Establishment) Act, Cap C4, Vol.1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010.”
Li pleaded guilty to the four charges, and the judge, finding him guilty, sentenced him to six months imprisonment on each count, or the option of the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200, 000.00) fine.