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Businessman Sentenced to Prison for N99.75 Million Fraud IN borno

Businessman Sentenced to Prison for N99.75 Million Fraud

In a landmark ruling, Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri, delivered a verdict on Wednesday, March 7, 2024, sentencing Alhaji Kyari Mohammed, the managing director of Kyari and Sons Company Nigeria Limited, to one year imprisonment. The judgment stems from a case of conspiracy and criminal misappropriation involving a staggering sum of N99,750,000.00 (Ninety-Nine Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).

The legal saga began on June 21, 2021, when Mohammed was first arraigned by the Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tbefore Justice Umaru Fadawu of the Borno State High Court. However, due to objections raised by the defense counsel, W. Y Maikyau, Justice Fadawu recused himself from the case and returned the file to the Borno State Chief Judge for reassignment.

Subsequently, on Thursday, September 22, 2022, Mohammed faced charges before Justice Aisha Kumaliya. The amended charges brought against him included conspiracy and criminal misappropriation. The prosecution, led by counsels Mukhtar Ali Ahmed and S.O Saka, presented three witnesses and tendered documents as exhibits during the trial.

The first count of the charges accused Mohammed of conspiring to obtain the sum of N99,750,000.00 under false pretenses. The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to all charges. Despite the defense counsel’s plea for leniency, Justice Kumaliya handed down a verdict, sentencing Mohammed to one year imprisonment with an option of N200,000.00 fine. Additionally, he was ordered to pay back the full amount of N99,750,000.00 to the petitioner or face ten years in a Correctional Centre.

The case originated from a complaint filed by a petitioner who alleged that Mohammed fraudulently obtained food items worth N99,750,000.00, promising to supply them to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and settle the payment within forty-five days. However, Mohammed neither fulfilled the agreement nor returned the items to the supplier, leading to legal action against him.

The conviction of Mohammed underscores the commitment of the judiciary to uphold justice and combat financial crimes in Nigeria. Justice Kumaliya’s ruling serves as a deterrent to individuals engaged in fraudulent activities, sending a clear message that perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.

The case highlights the importance of transparency and integrity in business dealings, emphasizing the need for ethical conduct and adherence to contractual agreements. It also underscores the critical role of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary in safeguarding the interests of citizens and preserving the rule of law.

As Nigeria continues its fight against corruption and economic crimes, the successful prosecution of cases such as this sets a precedent for accountability and promotes confidence in the justice system. It sends a powerful message that no one is above the law and that justice will prevail, regardless of one’s status or position in society.

Moving forward, it is imperative for all stakeholders, including businesses, government agencies, and civil society organizations, to collaborate in promoting transparency, accountability, and ethical standards in all facets of society. By fostering a culture of integrity and accountability, Nigeria can achieve sustainable development and progress towards a brighter future for all its citizens.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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