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Court sentences two to 20 years in prison for $1m fraud

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, on Friday convicted and sentenced

Mahmud A. Mohammed and Ikechukwu Nkwocha-Philip to 10 years in prison each without option of fine for fraud.

Also convicted was a company, Al-Maqarinaz International Limited, belonging to Mohammed.

The three convicts were arraigned before Justice Olasumbo Goodluck alongside Globtec Resources Limited (third defendant) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1 million.

Count three of the charge reads: “That you Mahmud A. Mohammed being the Chief Executive Officer of Al-Maqarinaz International Limited, Ikechukwu Nkwocha-Philip, Joseph Idoko being the Chief Executive Officer of Globtec Resources Limited (now deceased) and others at large sometime in October 2013 in Abuja within the Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did with intent to defraud, conspired among yourselves to obtain the sum of One Million United State Dollars ($1,000,000) from Ismaila Abdulgaffar, the Chief Executive Officer of Emex Oil Ndawta Limited under the false pretence of supplying him with Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil via MT AL Albar a claim you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

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They all pleaded not guilty, prompting their trial with the prosecution relying on testimonies and evidence of five witnesses to prove its case.

At the court proceeding on Friday, Justice Goodluck noted that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the first, second and fourth defendants.

She further held that there was overwhelming evidence that a vessel, MT AL Albar was never loaded with Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil as the convicts claimed they would do for which they fraudulently collected $1 million from their victim, Ismaila Abdugaffar, CEO, Emex Oil Ndawta Limited.

She found the convicts guilty on counts three and four, attracting 10 years imprisonment which is to run concurrently, and dismissed counts one and two. The third defendant, Globtec Resources Limited was not convicted.

Apart from the prison term, the convicts are to refund the $1 million proceed of crime to Emex Oil Ndawta Limited while the third defendant is to refund the sum of $20,000.00 that was initially paid by Emex Oil Ndawta Limited to procure a fiduciary account for it.

The convicts’ journey to prison began in 2016, when the victim, Ismaila Abdulgaffar, CEO of Emex Oil Ndawta Limited petitioned the EFCC, alleging that he paid them a sum of $1 million for the purchase of Nigerian Bonny Light Crude Oil, loaded on a vessel: MT AL Albar in October 2013 but could neither get the product nor his money back.

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