The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Maiduguri Zonal Command, has secured the conviction and sentencing of Goni Muhammad and Seidu Seriki Hamani to seven years imprisonment for offering fake gold belonging to former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan to their victims.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Sunday October 15, 2023.
The statement explained that the convicts were arraigned on May 16, 2022, before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri, on two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining under false pretence to the tune of N26.4 million.
They were arrested for conspiring and obtaining the said sum from their victims under the guise of selling two grams of gold belonging to a former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
One of the counts read: “That you, Goni Mohammad and Seidu Seriki Hamman, sometimes in January 2020 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, did obtained 2 grams of gold at the rate of N26, 492,000.00 (Twenty Six Million Four Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand Naira) allegedly belonging to the wife of the former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan under the false pretence which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
The statement noted that the defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to them.
EFCC counsel, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed, presented three witnesses and tendered several documents as exhibits before the court adding that the defence counsel, H. Waziri, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
It further noted that Justice Kumaliya, in her judgment, found them guilty, convicted and sentenced them on count one to seven years imprisonment each for the offence of conspiracy and seven years for the offence of obtaining under false pretence.
The jail terms are to commence from the day they were first arraigned and run concurrently.
The judge further ordered Muhammad to pay the balance of N16, 492,000.00 to his victim or serve additional seven years imprisonment.