Justice Yusuf Y. Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama. Abuja, on Monday, convicted a former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Chuma Nzeribe for forgery.
The judge could however not sentence Nzeribe as he was not physically present, and deferred sentencing to a time the Inspector General of Police could arrest the former lawmaker and bring him to the court physically for his sentencing.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) arraigned Nzeribe on a four-count charge of false pretence, impersonation, forgery and cheating.
The commission alleged that the ex-lawmaker forged the documents of plot 1306, Cadastral Zone, Maitama District, Abuja, belonging to one Ishaya Baba.
EFCC told the court that the defendant was in possession of the statutory right of occupancy bearing the name of Ramatu Alhassan with reference Number MFCT/LA/FCT 1302 dated 18/06/03.
The offence, according to the anti-graft agency, was contrary to Section 6, 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
In his ruling, Justice Halilu held that the prosecution has proven its case against Nzeribe beyond a reasonable doubt.
He, however, deferred the convict’s sentencing.
The judge said: “I hereby convict the said Chuma Nzeribe having found him guilty as charged.
“From the abundant evidence before me, it has been established that the defendant forged the title document to the said land 1306 Maitama which rightfully now belongs to Ishaya Baba.
“By the powers conferred on me therefore, pursuant to Section 11 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Act, 78 of penal code, 321 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which dwelt on the issue of restitution, I hereby ordered the said land owner to take his land forthwith without any delay since he is the rightful owner.
“With respect to the issue of sentencing, I shall defer the sentence of the said convict to a date in this life when I am sure the long arms of the law will catch up with him.
“Then, the EFCC, IGP will arrest him and bring him before me for me to be able to do the needful by sentencing him accordingly.
“In the meantime, sentencing in this situation is thereby deferred.”
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: How roadside foods endanger consumers’ life with trans fat in northern Nigeria
With an estimated 854,000 deaths in Nigeria, and 3,229 attributed to trans fatty acids (TFA) -related cardiovascular deaths, ADESOLA IKULAJOLU visited Nigeria’s...
INVESTIGATION: Untold story of Ondo oil producing communities battling poor health system
Access to quality healthcare is one of the nightmares of communities in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. Despite...
FEATURE: Ogun residents, waste collectors trade blames, as refuse litter environment
TIJANI ABDULKABEER, a journalist from the University of Ibadan, during a recent trip to Sango Otta, Ogun State took a look...
INVESTIGATION: How online fraudsters siphon victims’ funds through ‘SportyBet’ platform
As Nigeria transits into a cashless society, the evolution also creates opportunities for internet scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...