The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Maiduguri Zonal Office, on Thursday, January 21, 2021 secured the conviction and sentencing of one Sahabo Abubakar Ahiwa before Justice Jude Dagat of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, to one year and nine months imprisonment for obtaining N9m by false pretense.
The defendant who was convicted along with his company, Dokkal International Travelling & Tourism Limited, was first arraigned before Justice M.T Salihu(rtd) in 2017.
He had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against him.
After the arraignment, the convict absconded, forcing the court to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. After he was arrested by operatives of the EFCC, the case commenced de novo on February 13, 2020 before Justice Dagat.
The petitioner, Fatima Alfa had alleged that Ahiwa tricked him to part with N9m with a fake offer a two bedroom flat situated behind Asokoro General Hospital, Abuja.
At today’s proceedings, the prosecution counsel, Haruna Abdulkadir informed the court that the convict had entered into a “plea bargain agreement” with the Commission and paid the total sum of money obtained by him to the nominal complainant.
Consequently, Haruna urged the court to “order the defendant re-take his plea to an amended charge”.
The charge reads: “That you, Sahabo Abubakar Ahiwa between November 2014 and January 2015 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and with intent to defraud, induced one Dr. Fatima Alfa Tahir to deliver to you the sum of N9,000,000 (Nine Million Naira) only under the false pretence that the said sum would be utilized to service her interest for payment of purchase price of a 2-bedroom flat situated at Asokoro, Abuja, facts you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 1(1)(b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 respectively”.
He pleaded “guilty” to the charge and was convicted and sentenced to the time he spent ( twenty one months) in the custody of the EFCC and the Nigerian Correctional Service.
In the words of Justice Dagat: “pursuant to the plea bargain agreement filed on the 12th January 2021, the convict is hereby sentenced to the already term served in detention. The convict, haven restituted the nominal complainant in full, there shall be no further order for restitution”.