Uyo – Judge I. M. Sanni, of the Federal Supreme Court in Uyo on Friday, sentenced two Cameroonians, Ebwe Michael and Ngu Tiku to 18 years in prison each for illegally acquiring Nigerian passports.
Sanni, however, gave the defendants the option to pay N500,000 each as a fine.
The judge sentenced the convicts said that the court was lenient with them because they pleaded guilty and did not waste the time of the court.
He also said that the convicts were the first offenders.
Sanni ordered that if the convicts did not pay the fine, they would serve out their sentences in Nigeria and be deported after completing their sentences.
Speaking to reporters after the ruling, prosecutor David Babale said the first convict, Michael, 43, in 2012 acquired a Nigerian passport without detection.
Babale said his luck ran out when he was re-released in March 2018 with the second defendant, Tiku, 35, when an Immigration Officer in Uyo captured them.
Also, the defense attorney, Mr. Mfon Uyoh, said he was satisfied with the trial.
According to him, the judge was lenient with the defendant because he pleaded guilty and did not waste court time.
“It was good judgment in the sense that the judge has to be lenient with the convicts.” He did not impose the maximum sentence.
“They are repentant, they pleaded guilty, and they did not waste the time of the court,” he said. (YAYA)