A federal high court sitting in Abuja has sentenced one Mercy Yusuf to 24 years in prison for $298,000, ₦40 million property fraud.
In a statement on Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Yusuf and her company, T.M Properties Limited, were arraigned on a four-count charge that bordered on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery, and using false documents as genuine.
The anti-graft agency said Yusuf fraudulently obtained 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.
However, Yusuf pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting the commencement of 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.
“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 ₦41 million to the nominal complainant.