A Chinese national, Li Lei Lei, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for tampering with Nigerian naira notes.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Justice I. Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, convicted Li Lei Lei for mutilating Nigerian naira notes. According to reports, Li’s punishment was secured by the EFCC’s Lagos Zonal Command, which had help from the DSS, Nigeria’s secret police.
Li was charged with four counts of “tampering with a Nigerian note,” an action that is considered illegal and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Establishment Act.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Li Lei Lei, tampered with a One Thousand Naira (N1,000) Note, with serial number 947882 issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, on or about the 17th day of May 2022, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Establishment) Act, Cap C4, Vol.1, Laws of Federation.
The other count technically translates as follows; “That you, Li Lei Lei, tampered with one thousand naira (N1,000) note, with serial number 114804, issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria on or about the 17th day of May 2022 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, and thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, Cap C4, Vol.1, Laws of the Federation.”
While faced with the severity of his actions, Li admitted to the crime and pled “guilty,” serving quite comfortably as an opportunity for the prosecution attorney, Ayanfe Ogunshina, who immediately requested that the court reconsider the facts of the case in light of Li’s guilty plea.
He also told the court that the defendant was arrested by DSS officers and turned over to the EFCC for investigation and prosecution.
However, the prosecuting team presented the defendant with the convict’s voluntary statements, which were written in Mandarin and translated into English by a known interpreter.
In the further establishment of the truth, the prosecution also presented the EFCC with a handover note from the DSS as well as shredded Naira notes, which had been torn into shreds by the defendants while at the “scene of the crime.”
When presenting his case, Ogunshina begged the court to find him (Mr. Li) guilty and sentence him appropriately.
On each count, Justice Oweibo found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to 24 months in prison.
We had also earlier reported that after being caught on camera beating a local man last year, a Rwandan court sentenced a Chinese businessman to 20 years in prison for torture.
Sun Shujun, the manager of a mine in Western Rwanda, was accused of abusing his employees in a case that gained national attention after he was caught on camera flogging a man chained to a pole on the ground.
Sun “tortured the victims and imposed physical punishment with malicious intent, and this is a major offense,” according to Judge Jacques Kanyarukiga.