Justice A.M Bayero of the Kano State High Court on Friday, November 21, 2014 convicted and sentenced one Mohammed Lawal to Seven years imprisonment without an option of fine on a three count charge of obtaining the sum of Seven million, nine hundred and fifty thousand naira (N7, 950, 000.00) under false pretence.
The convict was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, sometime in 2010 in Lagos following a petition by Alhaji Suleiman Baban Abu, a businessman.
Lawal and his cohort, now at large, were said to have taken the victim to Lagos Wharf, where he was shown a consignment of fertilizer purportedly awaiting auction by the Nigeria Customs Service, with assurances that the fertilizers would be sold to him. Consequently, the victim paid the sum of three million, nine Hundred and fifty thousand (N3, 950,000.00) to the convict’s Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) account, and another Four million naira (N4, 000,000.00) in cash.
Soon after the payments, the fraudsters disappeared while efforts by the victim to get either the fertilizer or his money, proved abortive.
Count three of the charge reads: “That you Muhammed Lawal and Mustapha Idris ( still at large) sometime in August, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice Kano with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of four million naira (N4,000,000.00) cash from Suleiman Baban Abu under the false pretence that you have a consignment of fertilizer to sell to him, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1)(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”
Aside convicting the accused, Justice Bayero also ordered him to pay restitution to the victim; and that failure to do so would attract additional five years imprisonment.
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