A stockbroker, Ayoola Coker, was on Thursday sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by an Ikeja High Court for stealing N17.5 million shares belonging to two of his clients.
The 37-year-old was sentenced by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo after he pleaded guilty during re-arraignment.
The judge found him guilty on all the 15 counts of stealing, issuance of dud cheque, forgery and altering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Onigbanjo consequently sentenced the stockbroker to two years imprisonment on each of the counts, holding that the sentences should run concurrently starting from Dec.1, 2011.
“Efforts were made by the convict at restituting to the victims – Mr Saheed Gbadamosi and his son, Taiwo,” Onigbanjo said.
“The voluntary changing of his plea from not guilty to guilty has demonstrated sufficient remorse as to warrant leniency,” he noted.
The judge further noted that Coker transferred the title deed of his landed property at Idimu, Lagos, worth N8 million and a car valued at N1 million to the victims.
NAN reports that Coker earlier pleaded not guilty when arraigned on June 6, 2011.
EFCC Counsel, Mr Taqiyudeen Aribi, had told the court during the arraignment that Coker, sometime in 2010, fraudulently sold numerous shares worth N17.5 million, claiming they belonged to his clients.
Aribi also said that Coker forged a Central Securities Clearing System statement which he used in facilitating the fraud.
He also submitted that the convict issued two cheques for N1 million each to the victims which were returned by the bank due to lack of funds in his account.
Coker’s Counsel, Mr Soji Toki, had pleaded with the court to be lenient on his client who, he said, had repented.
Toki said that Coker had been in prison custody since June 6, 2011, after failing to perfect the bail granted to him by the court.