Civil defence officer bags 5 years jail term for frauds

An FCT High Court, sitting in Jabi, on Tuesday, sentenced one Amos Alabi, a Civil Defence Officer to five years in prison for criminal breach of trust and other fraud related offences.

Alabi was in 2015 charged with 11 offences including fraud and criminal breach of trust before Justice Halilu Yusuf of the court.

Yusuf said he was convinced that 36-year-old defendant, actually committed the case of criminal breach of trust and freed him from other 10 charges.

“The court finds it difficult to corroborate the statement made by the defendant while he was giving evidence led by his counsel and during his cross examination led by the prosecution counsel,’’ he said.

The judge said that the testimony given by the defendant when he was been led in evidence by his counsel, Mr J.C Njikoye contradicted the ones he gave when he was being cross examined by the prosecution, Mohammed Saraya.

The judge said that the prosecution was able to prove the allegation of criminal breach of trust based on the evidence placed before the court by a prosecution witness.

Yusuf, who did not give an option of fine, added that the statement admitted by the defendant when the officers of the corps were investigating the issues surrounding the case, also testified to the defendant committing the crime.

According to the judge, characters such as that of the defendant deserves to be kept away from the public and that the judgment will serve as a deterrent to those who might want to emulate the character.

However, the judge discharged and acquitted the defendant for the other 10-count charge as he said that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The prosecution in the matter which started since April 2015 was the office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice.

A total number of nine witnesses were called by the prosecution, who testified as Principal Witness 1 (PW1) to PW9 and documentary evidence marked as exhibit A to I were tendered by the prosecution.

Count number one against the defendant was that he fraudulently collected a car belonging to one Mr Akaanan-Jacob Gwaza on a pretence that he was going to help the owner sell it for the owner to pay a debt owed a friend.

The defendant was therefore sentenced to five years imprisonment on the basis of fraudulently collecting the car.

The prosecutor, Mohammed Saraya had earlier told the court during his argument that the defendant claimed to have sold the car and gave the owner N200, 000 from the N250, 000 he sold the car, was false.

The prosecutor had also argued that there was no evidence placed before the court as to the mode the defendant used in paying the self-acclaimed money to the car owner.

Count two of the charge also said that the defendant bought a Bajaj Motorcycle of N115, 000 from one Mr. Charlers Agwunoha and issued a dud cheque which bounced when the man went to the bank to collect the money.

He was also accused of issuing a dud cheque of N230, 000 to one Shorunke Temitayo in 2013 and another dud cheque of N560, 000 in favour of Infinite Mercy Multi-Purpose Co-operative Ltd.

Other offences include the collection of money from people in pretence that he will provide jobs in the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for the applicants.

The prosecution added that the offences of the defendant were contrary to sections 313, 31, 177, 291, 320 and 122 of the Penal Code, CAP 89 Law of the Northern Nigeria 1963. (NAN)

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