Abuja — Senior Magistrate Rosemary Kanyip of the Kubwa Senior Magistrates' Court in FCT, on Thursday sentenced 35-year old security guard, Innocent Adoga, to five months imprisonment for fraud.
Kanyip, however, gave the convict an option of N4,000 fine and ordered that he should refund N58,700 to the complainants.
She also warned him to desist from fraudulent activities henceforth.
"Be warned that hardship is no defence for the commission of a crime.
"You claim to have a wife and children, what example do you intend to show your children as they grow up?."
Police prosecutor, Arziki Kaura, had told the court that the case was reported at the Dutse Police Station on Jan. 19 by John Cole, Augustine Oneje, Sunday Akogwu and Ajido Samson.
Kaura said the convict, who claimed to be a security guard with a company named "Nigeria Private Intelligence", collected various sums from the complainants under the pretence of getting them jobs.
"He collected a total sum of N58,700 from the four complainants, promising to get them employment in his company and in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
"He subsequently issued them fake employment letters and during investigations, refused to give information about his employer."
Kaura said the convict committed the offences of cheating, forgery and failure to give information to a public servant.
He said that the offences contravened the Penal Code.
The convict had pleaded guilty to the charges, adding that the financial challenges he faced at the time led him to commit the crimes.
"My wife was pregnant and it resulted in an operation, and I had no money," he said.
He begged the court to temper justice with mercy. (NAN)