Court sentences two fraudsters

A serial fraudster, Jehu Kwasu has been sentenced to three years imprisonment without option of fine.

Kwasu was convicted yesterday by Justice Binta Fatima Isah of the Kaduna State High Court sitting in Zaria on a two count charge of forgery and obtaining by false pretence.

The convict’s journey to prison started when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission received a petition from one Chief Okafor, Chairman of Chikason Group of Companies.

The fraudster was said to have impersonated one Bishop Josiah Fearon and obtained the sum of N5 million from him under the pretext that the funds would be used to help the 2011 post election violence victims in Kaduna.

Upon his arraignment, the convict was granted bail by the court but he violated the bail terms and absconded.

The convict was eventually brought back to the commission by his sureties and subsequently presented before the court.

Again, he was again granted bail. Just as it happened in the first instance, he jumped bail and disappeared.

It took the intervention of the Nigeria Police  to bring him to justice.

He was arrested him for attempting to defraud a former governor of Abia State while posing as the respected Catholic priest, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah.

In today’s proceeding, the convict changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’.

In view of his new plea, counsel for the prosecution, B. M Buhari, urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Justice Binta convicted Kwasu and sentenced him to two years imprisonment for the offence of obtaining by false pretence and one year imprisonment for the offence of forgery.

The sentence is to run concurrently.

The convict was also ordered to refund the sum of N5 Million to the complainant.

In a related development, Justice Idrissa Kolo of the Federal High Court Kano also convicted and sentenced one Christopher Ngene to nine years imprisonment without option of fine on three counts of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.

The convict fraudulently induced the complainant through a phone call to part with the sum of N200, 000 on the pretext that the money would be used to purchase solar panel.

After he obtained the money from the complainant, he again called the complainant and demanded a further sum of N150, 000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira)  which according to him would be used to register the complainant’s company with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Upon arraignment on 24th November, 2014, he pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him and he was eventually remanded in prison custody pending his perfection of bail terms which he could not fulfill up till today.

In today’s proceedings, the convict dramatically asked the court to read the charge again and subsequently changed his plea of not guilty to guilty.

In view of his latest plea, prosecution counsel Musa Isah urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Justice Idrissa subsequently convicted Christopher and sentenced him to a prison term of three years on each of the three count charge. The sentence is to run concurrently from the day of his arrest.

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