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Fraudster sentenced to 70 years imprisonment for N29m investment scam

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Fraudster

The Sokoto State High Court presided over by Justice Bello Duwale, on Thursday, April 1, 2021, convicted and sentenced a fraudster, Hamzat Muhammad Bashar, to 70 years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Justice Duwale pronounced his verdict on the fraudster after he was found guilty of obtaining Twenty Nine Million Eight Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand Naira (N29,865,000.00) by false pretence.

Basha landed in trouble when the EFCC received a petition from one Imran Ahmed and several other victims, alleging he had defrauded them to the tune of N29,865,000.00 (Twenty Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand) in a phoney investment scheme in which they were promised 20 percent returns on investment every month and dividends at the end of the year.

However, after investing various sums of money, they neither received the 20% returns nor got any dividends.

The fraudster was arraigned by the Sokoto Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 7, 2019, on a 12-count amended charge, bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.

Count one of the charge reads:

“That you Hamzat Bashar Muhammad, Hindatu Bashar (Now at Large) and Hamga Investment Resources Limited sometimes within the months of June to December, 2018 at Sokoto within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the total sum of N23,760,000 (Twenty Three Million Seven Hundred and Sixty Naira) from Hadiza Aliyu (for herself and other victims) when you falsely represented yourselves to her, to be running a genuine business investment of Gold and Herbs, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

He, however, pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges, which necessitated his trial.

Habila Jonathan, counsel to the prosecution, in the course of the trial called ten witnesses and tendered several documents to prove the case against the fraudster.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, Justice Duwale, who ruled that the EFCC has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, convicted the defendant on counts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12.

He then sentenced him to seven years in prison without an option of a fine on each of the 10 counts, which will run concurrently.

In addition, the Judge ordered the fraudster to restitute the total sum of N29,135,000 (Twenty Nine Million One Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand Naira) to the victims through the EFCC.

 

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