The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of Kubiat Jones, managing director, Petroline Global Solutions Limited, on 2-counts of issuance of dud cheque to the tune of N7.034million before Justice O. O. Goodluck of an FCT High Court, Abuja.
Jones and his company, Petroline Global Solutions Limited allegedly in 2012 issued two separate cheques to its client, Nourddine Hachhouch, an expatriate from Morocco, in the sum of N3,500,000 and N3,534,172.63 totaling N7,034,172.63 (seven million, thirty four thousand, one hundred and seventy two naira, sixty- three kobo), which upon presentation for payment were dishonoured due to insufficient funds in the account.
The offence contravenes Section 1 (1) (b) od the DishonouredCheques (Offences) Act 2004 LFN and punishable under Section 1 (1) (b) (i) (ii) of the same Act.
In proof of its case, the EFCC called three witnesses and tendered exhibits.
However, Jones jumped bail in the course of the trial and was evasive. His long absence in court indeed frustrated the continuation of the trial until the coming into effect of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which empowers the court to go on with a criminal matter in the absence of the accused person after two adjournments without reasonable explanation from the defendant.
At the close of the prosecution’s case on February 15, 2017, the court adjourned to March 8 for defence. On the said date, neither the defendant nor his counsel was present in court. Consequently, the defendants were foreclosed and the court ordered for the filing of the final written addresses by counsel.
Justice Goodluck in her judgment delivered on October 20, 2017 convicted Jones and his company on the 2-counts prefered against them.
The judge, however reserved their sentencing until when Jones is arrested or surrenders himself to the court in accordance with Section 352 (4) & (5) of the ACJA, 2015, for sentencing.