Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri, today convicted and sentenced one Ahmed Idris Alamin to one-year imprisonment with an option of 150,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) fine for fraud.
The convicted was first arraigned on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, on a six-count charge that borders on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N6,000,000.00 (Six Million Naira).
He had pleaded not guilty, prompting the commencement of the trial.
At the resumed hearing today October 14, 2020, the prosecuting counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed prayed the court for leave to substitute the earlier charge with an amended one-count charge.
The amended charge reads: “That you, Ahmed Idris Alamin sometime in February 2019 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonesty induced one Denis Demi by deceiving him to deliver the sum of Six Million Naira (N6,000,000.00) allegedly being payment for the sale of a plot of land, Plot 12 situated at BOTP /99, Residential Layout, Maiduguri, Borno State measuring 1,200 square meters with Right of Occupancy No: BO/22962 dated 12th May 1994 bearing the name of one Abdul Sa’atar Mohammed and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of Penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of Borno State 1994 and punishable under Section 322 of the same Law”.
The defendant pleaded “guilty” to the amended charge when it was read to him.
Ali Ahmed prayed the court to convict him accordingly but defence counsel, D. T Umara pleaded for leniency on the ground that the defendant had paid the nominal complainant the money involved in the racket.
Justice Kumaliya thereafter convicted him as charged and sentenced him to one year in prison.
Alamin’s prosecution was triggered by petitions from two complainants alleging that the defendant fraudulently received cash sums of N5m and N1m respectively from them as part payments for three plots of land.
It was further revealed that the defendant handed to the complainants an Application for Grant of Right of Occupancy for the lands in question purportedly evidencing his title to the said lands.
It emerged that the Right of Occupancy was forged as it did not emanate from the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Investigation also shows that the land had since been allocated to some other persons with valid Certificate of Occupancy.