A court in Abuja on Monday convicted a former staffer of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), Mark Egwuma, and a businessman, Emmanuel Madubueze, for fraud.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), according to a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said the duo were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja headed by A. Otaluka.
They were arraigned on a six-count of defrauding one Tobechukwu Obiechina of N7 million.
According to the statement, the pair were accused of committing the crime in 2015.
They reportedly cloned documents for a plot of land in Guzape district of Abuja then issued same to Mr Obiechina.
“Emmanuel Madubueze, Sabo Zabwami Auta, Mark Egwuma, and one Mohammed Sanni Abdu (now at large) on or about the month of May 2015, at Abuja, forged a title document of plot 1693 Guzape, Cadastral Zone AO9, Abuja FCT,
”With the name of Mohammed Sanni Abdu with the intent to fraudulently use same to defraud one Tobias Tobechukwu Obiechina, of the sum of N7 million, the document which you claimed to be a genuine title document when you know it was forged or have reasons to know it was forged and you thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Act,” the charges read.
According to the statement, the counsel to the two, Charles Ohemu and O. Okokpujie, pleaded with the court to be lenient with their clients “as their clients had paid back the N7 million back to the victim”.
”The counsels claimed that they were both first-time offenders, were on record as good family men as well as being fathers to very young children. they have displayed utmost remorse by paying back the N7 million to the victim of the crime,” the statement said.
The court had earlier discharged and acquitted another accused person, Mr Sanni, saying his role in helping to secure a buyer for the land “was done without him knowing that the title documents were forged”.
Meanwhile, the judge, Ms Otaluka, in her ruling, observed that the duo willfully committed the crime and therefore would face appropriate sanctions dictated by the law.
The two were formally sentenced to four years imprisonment respectively with options.
Mr Madubueze was given an option of paying a fine of N250,000 on counts one to four. He would, however, serve two years imprisonment on counts five and six without any option of fine.
Furthermore, Mr Egwuma was given an option of paying a fine of N200,000 on counts one to four and six months each on counts five and six.
All the sentences will run concurrently.