A Kano-based businessman, Mustapha Babangida, was sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N250,000 fine on Monday, Juanuary 7, for defrauding a fellow businessman, Obi Bartholomew, of sums totaling N2.5 million.
Justice Ibrahim Karaye of the Kano State High Court handed down the sentence after pronouncing Babangidan guilty of a one-count charge of criminal breach of trust preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Babangida, according to the information on the charge sheet, had, sometimes in May 2018, presented himself to Bartholomew as a businessman who deals in the importation of drugs from Turkey. He also promised him (Bartholomew) of a profit of up to N500,000 if he could invest up to N2 million.
After being convinced, the victim released N2million for the deal, and another N150,000 which Babangida came back later to collect for ‘clearing’ of the ‘imported items’.
But the deal later turned awry as Babangida failed to fulfill his promise of mouthwatering return.
This led Bartholomew to pen a petition to the EFCC in which he gave the details of the deal and sought the intervention of the anti-graft agency.
In the petition, Bartholomew alleged that the accused person issued him two cheques of N2.5 million and N150, 000 dated May 19 and 22, 2018, respectively which turned out to be dud cheques as they were returned unpaid, due to insufficient funds in the account.
When the charge was read to him, Babangida pleaded guilty, prompting the prosecution lawyer, Michael Ojo, to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
But the accused’s defence counsel, Sani Amani, wanted him freed. He notified the court that his client had paid the entire sum in question, which was acknowledged by the nominal complainant and the EFCC.
Justice Karaye, thereafter convicted the accused and sentenced him to six months in prison with an option of N250, 000 as fine.