419 Land Scammers Bags 7yrs In Prison

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced Abdulkadir Ntiem who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to seven years imprisonment for defrauding one Mark Anthony Ugochukwu to the tune of N4.5 million (four million, five hundred thousand naira). Ntiem was arraigned on March 2, 2011, with a five count charge before Justice Balkisu Bello Aliyu.
According to the prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed, Ntiem’s ordeal followed a petition to the EFCC by Ugochukwu where he alleged that Ntiem told him he has a land at plot 1127B11 located at Kaura District, Abuja for sale.
Ntiem told Ugochukwu that he was working with the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA. He produced his supposed FCDA identification card and even took him to FCDA where he showed him a table which he claimed was his. It was after all these that he offered Ugochukwu a forged statutory offer letter. Convinced that Ntiem was a staff of the FCDA,  Ugochukwu started paying the agreed sum of N8 million for the land.
Ugochukwu gave Ntiem, the sum of N5.5 million as advance payment but at the end of the day, he neither saw the land nor was he refunded his money. All efforts to reach Ntiem on phone proved abortive as his GSM lines were also switched off.
In the course of investigation, the EFCC sought from Abuja Geographical Information Service, AGIS, and FCDA authorities the staff status of Ntiem, but both agencies denied having him as a staff.
The accused had told the court that the offer letter he gave to the complainant was not forged and that the land existed. “It was the surveyor who identify the land using a G.P.S which is an instrument used by surveyors to locate particular area of land. I got the plot No. 1127 at Kaura District. We agreed on N8 million as the cost of the plot”, he told the court during cross examination. He however admitted that he collected the sum of N4.5 from the complainant.
After listening to the prosecution and the defence counsel, the judge ruled that it was her view that the prosecution has proved the case of obtaining by false pretence the sum of N4.5 million against the accused person, purporting to be part payment for the purchase of a parcel of land within Kaura District in Abuja which the accused knew is false; contrary to Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006 punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The Judge said that Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act has provided for the minimum sentence of seven years without an option of fine. “Though I have considered the plea of counsel to the accused, by those provisions I cannot give lesser than seven years. Therefore, the convict is sentenced to seven years imprisonment for offence of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Offences Act 2006”. The term of imprisonment will however commence from March 29, 2011 when accused was first remanded in prison custody.“I hope the accused will learn from this experience and find a legal means of subsistence instead of crime of deceit”. 
The judge also ordered the convict to pay Mark Anthony Ugochukwu the sum of N4. 5 million (Four Million Five hundred thousand naira) which is the proceed of the crime.
Wilson Uwujaren Ag. Head, Media & Publicity 4th January, 2012

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