The Maiduguri Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 secured the conviction and sentencing of one Baba Shehu Hayatu, before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri on a one-count amended charge, bordering on cheating to the tune of N4million.
It will be recalled that Hayatu was first arraigned and remanded in prison on July 30, 2019 on a two-count charge, bordering on criminal breach of trust and cheating to the tune of N8.5million.
Before the commencement of his trial, Hayatu, however, opted for a plea bargain arrangement with the EFCC and compensated the nominal complaint with a piece of land and paid the sum of N4million.
Hayatu's journey to prison started when the EFCC received a petition against him from Mohammed Bukar, alleging that the accused sometime in 2017 approached the nominal complainant and demanded the sum of N4million promising to use the said sum to execute a purported contract awarded to him by his elder brother.
The amended one-count charge reads: “That you, Baba Shehu Hayatu, sometime in 2017 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly induced one Mohammed Alhaji Bukar to deliver to you the sum of N4,000,000.00 (Four Million Naira) only for payment of execution of a purported contract awarded to you by one Mamman Hayatudeen who resides in Lagos and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Sections 320 (b) and 322 of the Penal Code Laws of Borno State Cap. 102 Vol. 3 of 1994 respectively”.
He pleaded "guilty" to the charge.
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, H.A. Shehu prayed the court to convict him as charged.
Thereafter, Justice Kumaliya held that: “You Baba Shehu Hayatu, charged for the offence of cheating is hereby convicted accordingly.”
During allocutus, counsel for the convict, J. Birem, pleaded for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
“My lord, the convict is remorseful and has restituted the victim in this case. My lord should consider an option of fine, instead of jail term,” he said.
Consequently, Justice Kumaliya sentenced Hayatu to pay an option of N100,000 or he shall spend six months in prison.
Media & Publicity
August 7, 2019