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Abuja estate agent gets 24 years jail term for fraud

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has convicted and sentenced a property owner, Mercy Yusuf, to 24 years in prison for $298,000 and ₦48 million in property fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed in a statement on Thursday that Yusuf was arraigned on a four-count charge that bordered on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery, and using false documents as genuine. 

The convict and her company, T.M. Properties Limited, were arraigned before Justice E. Okpe on Tuesday, March 7, for fraudulently obtaining the sum of $298,000 and ₦40 million from Bacab Properties Limited under the false pretence that she was the beneficial owner of Plot 1721, Jahi District Cadastral Zone B08, Abuja.

Yusuf and the other defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution officer called six witnesses and tendered 14 documents that were admitted in evidence as exhibits. 

Justice Okpe, delivering the judgment, held that the prosecution had proved the case against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The court 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 concurrently. 

The court further ordered the convicts to make restitution in the sum of $298,000 (two hundred and ninety-eight thousand United States dollars) and ₦41 million to the complainant.

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