A Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, has convicted one Sunday Adeniyi Olusegun, of Safe Trip Transport Company for issuing dud cheques in a bid to defray his indebtedness to one Alhaja Kudirat Ibiyeye, an Ilorin-based businesswoman.
According to the judgement delivered by Justice A. O. Akinpelu, the convict was found guilty of the said offence and was consequently sentenced to a suspended two years imprisonment pursuant to Section 451(1) of the Kwara State Administration of Criminal Justice Law with some conditions.
The conditions according to the judgement was that the convict shall within a period of three weeks engage in Community Service of cleaning or clearing the Court premises as assigned to him by the Chief Registrar between the hours of 8.00am and 12noon daily, and that the service of the convict shall be monitored and supervised by the Registry of the High Court.
“Neither has he shown by any iota of evidence that at times material, he had sufficient funds in his account to enable the cheques in issue to be funded when presented for payment as agreed.
“PW4, who went on investigation to the bank and was told that the cheques were dud cheques was not confronted with the fact that the bank was ordered not to cashback the cheques as claimed.
“On this premise, it was found that at the time that there was no sufficient fund in the account of the defendant,” the court noted.
It is long settled by judicial authorities according to the judgment that when a cheque is dishonoured upon presentment for reason of lack of sufficient funds in the bank account from which it is to be paid, this provides a reasonable basis for a criminal complaint against the drawer for issuing a dud or dishonoured cheque, irrespective of the fact that the cheque was initially issued as a post-dated cheque in discharge of a written contractual obligation to secure or guarantee the payment of a loan.
Speaking on the judgement, the counsel to Alhaja Kudirat Ibiyeye, who is also the Head of chambers, Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Co., Mr. Yakub Dauda, said that the matter was in two folds.
“One has to do with civil, which its judgement was delivered on July 6, 2022 in which N200 million was awarded against Mr. Sunday Adeniyi Olusegun, who happens to be the alter ego of Safe Trip Nigeria Limited.
The judgement was awarded in favour of Alhaja Kudirat Ibiyeye, who happens to be the person who loaned money to the said Adeniyi Olusegun. The money which he was unable to pay back and from all indications several demands were made in respect of the money owed but the man was not forthcoming.
“At the end of the day, the matter was taken to court where the said matter was supposed to commence with summary judgement, but the learned trial judge, Justice S.T. Umar of the High Court sitting in Ilorin was of the opinion that the counter affidavit to our affidavit in support of summary judgment disclosed an iota of defence as a result of which the matter was transferred to what we call general cause list.
“So, we went to a full blown trial where evidence was led and documents tendered in support of each party’s position in respect of the case. And at the end of the day, the trial court found in favour of Alhaja Kudirat Ijaya Ibiyeye. Mr. Sunday Adeniyi Olusegun was ordered to pay back the money owed Alhaja Kudirat Ibiyeye.
“The second stanza of the case has to do with issuance of 16 dud post-dated cheques in the sum of N10 million each and it has to do for same day of the month. Now, the person in favour of whom the cheques were issued presented the cheques on the day they were to be presented. She presented about six or seven which were all returned not honoured by the bank.
“So, the man was prosecuted. He was defended by his lawyer, Mr. Tafa Ahmed Esq. At the end of the day, the court found that the prosecution in that matter, Mr. J.A. Mumini (SAN) of the Ministry of Justice Kwara state, proved the case against Mr. Sunday Adeniyi Olusegun beyond reasonable doubt as expected and he was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
“But it is a suspended sentence. And he was also ordered to observe community service by cleaning up the high court premises, which include sweeping and cutting of grass”.
Also speaking, the counsel to the convict, Mr. Tafa Ahmed Esq., who said that appeal against the judgement has been filed, argued that his client had ordered the bank to stop payment of the cheques, explaining that one of the cheques was for another transaction aside the loan repayment.