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Gombe court convicts man for impersonating EFCC operatives


A Gombe State High Court on Thursday convicted one Muhammed Haladu of Dengi, Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State, on a count of cheating, contrary to Section 320 (a) of the Penal Code.
The convict was brought before Justice Abubakar Jauro by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Gombe Zonal Office, for posing as an EFCC operative to defraud a businessman, Ayuba Pyokdom, of N100,000, with a promise to assist him to stop investigation on a petition against him.
This, however, turned out to be false, the acting spokesperson for the EFCC, Tony Orilade, said in a statement.
He explained that Haladu did not waste the time of the court as he pleaded guilty when the charge was read to him.
Justice Jauro, thereafter, convicted and sentenced him to one year in prison with an option of N20,000 fine.
In a related development, the EFCC also secured the conviction of Abubakar Umar and Nafiu Ibrahim for offences bordering on conspiracy and cheating.
Umar and Ibrahim were arraigned before Justice Jauro on two counts of defrauding Hadiza Bajoga and Rakiya Yakubu of about N4m.
The charges read in part, “That you, Abubakar Umar and Nafiu Ibrahim, sometime in December 2017 or thereabout at Gombe, Gombe State, within the jurisdiction of this court, did fraudulently induce through WhatsApp group chat one Hadiza Yakubu to deliver to you money totalling N4m, under the name, Success Oil & Gas, and that the said sum was to be used to invest in an oil and gas business, which you knew to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 320 and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code.”
They pleaded guilty to the charges and based on their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Zarami Muhammad, asked the court to convict them accordingly.
The defence counsel, I. A. Muhammad, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as they were first time offenders and “they have shown remorse and promised not to commit such an offence again.”
In his ruling, the trial judge noted that their action was criminal in nature, adding that apart from the victims, the consequences would also affect the state.
He, therefore, sentenced them to two years in prison on each count, but the terms would run concurrently, with an option of N80,000 fine.
Jauro also ordered the EFCC to return the amount recovered from the convicts to their victim.

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