BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE
Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos has sentenced a serial fraudster, Aliyu Zakari to 53 years imprisonment for N17.1million fraud.
The convict was prosecuted by the Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on six-count charges of obtaining money by false pretence and stealing, to which he pleaded not guilty.
One of the charges read: “That you, Aliyu Zakari, on or about the 18th day of July , 2014, in Lagos, within the Lagos judicial division, with intent to defraud, induced Mrs. Obiezuono Adaeze of Maglo Tech Inter Limited to confer a benefit of 1, 762 bags, valued at N17,136, 450.00 (Seventeen Million, One Hundred and Thirty-six Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty Naira only ) on you under the false pretence that the bags were meant for Kano State Government and that same would be paid for by the Kano State Government, which pretence you knew to be false.”
Prosecution counsel, Franklin Ofoma in the course of the trial, invited witnesses and tendered documents that were admitted in evidence by the court, while the defendant testified for himself and had just one witness.
Justice Solebo in his judgment convicted the defendant and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment on counts one to five and three years on count six.
Zakari’s journey to prison began after he fraudulently took delivery of some bags worth N17, 136, 450.00 from his victim, Obiezuono Adaeze of Maglo Tech Inter Limited.
During their meeting sometime in 2014, Zakari, who was being investigated for offences bordering on issuance of dud cheques, told Adaeze, who was also at the Lagos detention facility of the Commission, that the Kano State Government needed a large supply of trolley bags, shoulder bags, pilot bags and pilot cases, valued at N17,136, 450 .
Upon her release from the Commission’s holding facility, the victim supplied all the items to Zakari, who did not deliver them to the Kano State Government, but converted them to his own.