The law provides that any person who by any false pretence, and with intent to defraud obtains, from any other person for himself or any other person; induces any other person to deliver to any person; or obtains any property, whether or not the property is obtained or its delivery is induced through the medium of a contract induced by the false pretence, commits an offence under this Act.
The basis of the law is to prevent obtaining from others by false pretence and it does not matter whether the victim is in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. As long Mr A induces Mr C to confer a benefit on him by false pretence, Mr A will be liable under this act for committing the offence. It is also very important to note that anyone found guilty of this offence is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 20 years and not less than seven years without the option of a fine (Section 1, Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006).
Section 2 of the Law also provides that people found guilty of money doubling i.e. people who with intent to defraud claim to be able to produce currency by washing paper in chemicals or through any invocation of juju and scientific means shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not more than 15 years and not less than five years without the option of a fine. This also includes anyone who gives out his property to be used for such purposes.
Conducting unlawful financial transactions is also an offence under this act and if the offender is a financial or corporation shall be liable to a fine of One Million Naira and where the financial institution or corporate body is unable to pay the fine, its assets to the value of the fine shall be confiscated and forfeited to the Federal Government; or in the case of a director, secretary or other officer of the financial institution or corporate body or any other person, to imprisonment for a term, not more than 10 years and not less than five years.
When as a result of negligence, or regulation in the internal control procedures, a financial institution fails to exercise due diligence as specified in the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, 1991 as amended or the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 in relation to the conduct of financial transactions which in fact involve the proceeds of unlawful activity- the financial institution commits an offence and is liable on conviction to refund the total amount involved in the financial transaction and not less than N100.000 sanction by the appropriate financial regulatory authority; a director, secretary, employee or other staff of the financial institution who facilitates, contributes or otherwise is involved in the failure to exercise due diligence as stipulated under this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than three years and may also be liable to be banned indefinitely for a period of three years from exercising the profession which provided the opportunity for the offence to be committed.
The law in Section 12 also aims to regulate the practice of companies who conduct services by email or online, such companies shall be required to obtain from the customer or subscriber their full names; residential address, in the case of an individual; corporate address, in the case of corporate bodies and any customer or subscriber who- fails to furnish the information specified; or with the intent to deceive, supplies false information or conceals or disguises the information required under this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years or a fine of N100,000.Such companies, who fail to comply with the provisions of the law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100, 000 and forfeiture of the equipment or facility used in providing the service.
in addition, the law confers jurisdiction on the Federal Capital High Court and the State High Courts to try such alleged offenders.
Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.