Abuja court sentences woman to 24 years in prison for N40m property scam
One Mercy Yusuf has been given a 24 year prison sentence for committing a $298,000, N40 million property fraud by a federal high court in Abuja.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement that Yusuf and her business, T.M Properties Limited, were charged with four counts that included forgery, using fake documents as real ones, and receiving money under false pretenses.
According to the anti-graft organization, Yusuf defrauded Bacab Properties Ltd by pretending to be the beneficial owner of Plot 1721 in the Jahi District Cadastral Zone B08 of Abuja in order to obtain the sum of $298,000 and N40 million.
Nonetheless, Yusuf entered a not guilty plea to the accusations, which triggered the start of the trial.
“In the course of the trial which commenced on February 1, 2022, the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered 14 documents that were admitted in evidence as exhibits. At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defendants opened their defence on November 1, 2022, with the first defendant testifying on behalf of herself and the 2nd defendant,” the statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, reads.
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“The Final written addresses were adopted by the prosecution and defence on March 6, 2023 and the matter was adjourned to March 7, 2023 for judgment.
“Delivering Judgment on Tuesday, March 7, Justice Okpe held that the prosecution had proved the case against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt. The court, therefore, convicted the defendants on all the counts and sentenced them to 10 years imprisonment on counts one and two, and 2 years imprisonment on counts three and four.
“The sentences are, however, to run concurrently.”
The court further ordered Yusuf to make restitution in the sum of $298,000 and N41 million to the nominal complainant.
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