Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on Thursday, sentenced a self-styled Muslim cleric (Alfa) in Ilorin, Jamiu Isiaka to 28 years imprisonment over offences bordering on fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
The court held that the offences are contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, adding that the prison time is to be observed at Mandala Correctional Centre, Ilorin.
Justice Mahmud Abdulgafar while delivering judgement held that the prosecution had tendered enough evidence to convince the court that the self-acclaimed Alfa Jamiu was guilty of the allegations brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Ilorin zonal command of the EFCC had on June 14, 2019, arraigned the defendant on four counts, to which he pleaded not guilty.
It said that Jamiu presented himself as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, to defraud a South Korean National, Keun Sig Kim, to the tune of N30million.
The antigraft agency also said that the 33-year-old Jamiu, while parading as a senior government official, deceived the foreign national to collect various sums of money under the pretext of securing for him an NNPC approval/ marketing form and license certificate to buy crude oil in Nigeria.
In the course of interrogation, Alfa Jamiu claimed that he used the money to conduct sacrifice for the petitioner. According to him, part of the money was used to buy vulture, elephant skin, elephant intestine, the skull of a lion and liver of gorilla used as ingredients in the sacrifice.
In the course of the trial, counsel to the EFCC, O. B Akinsola called two witnesses including Detective Dare Folarin who narrated how the defendant was arrested and how several fraudulent funds were traced to his bank accounts.
The prosecution tendered evidence on how Jamiu obtained the sum of $88,521.41 from his victim under the guise of helping him to procure an approval form from the NNPC. The EFCC also gave an account of how the defendant impersonated some senior government officials including the then Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru; National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mrs Aminat Zakari and Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina among others.
The defendant did not controvert the charge or the pieces of evidence tendered by the EFCC.
In his judgement, Justice Abdulgafar found Jamiu guilty of the four counts brought against him and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each count, which is to run concurrently.
In addition, the judge ordered the forfeiture of some properties recovered from the convict, which it held are proceeds of his unlawful activities.
They are a four bed-room bungalow measuring 1813.132 located at Oke-Foma in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, a Toyota Corolla Car, One Plasma Television, Home Theatre, Freezer, Generator, Washing Machine and LG Air Conditioner to the Federal Government.
By Biola Azeez