The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, July 24, 2023, secured the conviction and sentencing of two fraudsters, Mohammed Maidugu and Allen Abel.
While Maidugu was jailed two years for dishonestly copying the Automated Teller Machine, ATM, card Personal Identification Number of a bank customer, Abel bagged 10 years imprisonment for obtaining under false pretences.
They were both jailed by Justice Umaru Fadawu of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri.
Maidugu got his prison term after more than three months of trial on a one-count charge bordering on attempting to commit theft. The charge reads: “That you, Mohammed Maidugu on or about 22nd February, 2023 at FCMB Main Branch ATM Point, Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, attempted to commit theft and in such attempt did a certain act towards the commission of the said offence to wit: dishonestly copying the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) PIN of Usman Mohammed while making a transaction at the ATM without his consent and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 95 of the Penal Code Law Cap. 102 Laws of Borno State of Nigeria and punishable under section 287 of the same law.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned on April 20, 2023, and the matter proceeded to trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecuting counsel, Shamsuddeen Olayinka Saka, presented five witnesses and tendered several documents which were admitted in evidence as exhibits.
Justice Fadawu, in his judgment, convicted and sentenced Maidugu to two years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The convict’s journey to the Correctional Facility started when a customer went to an FCMB ATM point to make a transaction and at the point of inserting his secret PIN code, discovered that the convict surreptitiously copied the same on his mobile phone.
The customer, upon this realization, quickly cancelled the transaction, held Maidugu and alerted the bank’s security men who reported the matter to the EFCC.
Abel, on the other hand, was arraigned on March 10, 2023, on four-count amended charge for obtaining by false pretence, forgery and criminal misappropriation to the tune of N10,151,000.
Count one of the charges read: “That you, Allen Abel on or about 19th April, 2020, in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud obtained the sum of Seven Million Naira (N7,000,000.00) from one Suleiman Adamu purportedly for the supply of 1000 bags of sugar which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) & (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the count charges, thereby bringing the matter to full trial. In the course of trial, EFCC counsel, Muktar Ahmed, called four witnesses and tendered several documents as exhibits before the court.
Justice Fadawu in his judgment convicted and sentenced Abel to 10 years imprisonment.
He also ordered the convict to pay the sum of N10,151,000 only to the victim. The prison term runs concurrently.
Also, the Command on Monday, July 24, 2023, arraigned one Bulama Yahaya before Justice Fadawu on one-count charge for obtaining N8 million by false pretence.
The charge reads: ‘’That you Bulama Yahaya Jibrin Ahmed on or about the 28th day of July, 2017, at Maiduguri, within the judicial division of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained N8, 000,000.00 (Eight Million Naira) from Mustapha Modu Tela under the false pretence that it is for the purchase of a plot of land No. 315A on BOTP/44 covered by grant no. BO.2217 situated at Polo Damboa Road, Maiduguri purportedly belonging to you, the pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act. 2006 and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by EFCC.
Counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ahmed asked for the remand of the defendant and a date for trial to commence.
Justice Fadawu adjourned the matter till July 25, 2023, for commencement of trial.
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