The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recently secured the conviction of one Mohammed Yusuf before Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar of the Federal High Court Gusau, Zamfara State.
The convict was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment on each of the eleven count charge preferred against him by the EFCC.
Upon his arraignment on April 8, 2013 the convict pleaded not guilty to the eleven count charge, but after more than four years of trial, the convict approached the commission with a plea bargain proposal which was accepted and both parties came to an agreement.
The convict had defrauded the complainant, one Ya’u Mohammed to the tune of N20,000,000 (Twenty Million Naira Only) between November 2012 and January 2013 in a classic advance fee fraud scheme.
Posing as a ‘spirit’ named ‘Asmau’, based in Niger Republic, the convict was able to convince the complainant through a phone call into believing that the mystery female voice had powers to establish schools and mosques to propagate Islam but needed a human vessel through which this could be achieved.
The complainant gullibly fell into his trap after threats that he either obeys the voice of the spirit or die.
Subsequently, the convict began to extort his victim and used the money to buy exotic cars and acquire a mansion in red bricks area of Kano state.
In her judgment, Justice Zainab convicted the Mohammed Yusuf pursuant to section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. “This court found you guilty of the offence you are charged with and you are accordingly convicted as charged”. She said.
In passing the sentence, the trial judge adopted the plea bargain agreement between the two parties and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. However the sentences are to run concurrently from the day of his arrest.
The court also ordered that title document mention in the plea bargain agreement be transferred to the nominal complainant as restitution. It was also ordered that all other properties of the convict that are in the custody of EFCC shall revert back to the convict. The fake dollars tendered as exhibit EFCC B was also ordered to be destroyed by the EFCC.