Court gavel.

Justice Muhammad Muhammad of the Sokoto State High Court, Sokoto, has sentenced Aminu Malami to three years imprisonment for land fraud.

He has an option of paying a fine of N30,000.00 to escape prison.

The convict was prosecuted by the Sokoto zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on one-count amended charge of cheating to the tune of N450, 000.00.

The charge read, “That you Aminu Malami (being an employee of Sokoto Central Market) sometime in June, 2019 at Sokoto within the judicial division of the High Court of Justice of Sokoto, dishonestly induced one Abdulrahman Abdullahi to pay the total sum of N450, 000.00 out of which you were given N225,000.00 as your share by deceiving him that a small portion of a vacant land situated at Kalambaina Motor Park, attached to Sokoto Central Market is available for sale and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 310 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law 2019 and punishable under Section 311 of the same Law.”

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Malami pleaded guilty to the charge following which prosecution counsel, Habila Jonathan asked the court to convict and sentence him, while defence counsel, Rukayyat Mohammed, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, as her client is married and has 12 children and aged parents under his care.

She further told the court that the convict was a first time offender and has restituted the victim the sum of N225, 000.00 that accrued to him from the proceeds of the crime.

The convict’s journey to prison started sometime in June 2019 when he fraudulently collected the sum of N450, 000.00 from the petitioner with the promise to sell a non-existent plot of land to him.