The accused allegedly obtained the money under false pretence and forgery.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday arraigned Mohammed Yusuf Dabo before Justice Zainab Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Gusau, Zamfara State on an eleven-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence and forgery to the tune of N20million.
In a statement, the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said that between November 2012 and January 2013, the accused defrauded one Ya’u Mohammed to the tune of N20m in a classic advance fee fraud scheme.
It said that the fraudster, posing as a spirit named ‘Asmau’, based in Niger Republic, convinced his victim into believing that the mystery female voice had powers to establish schools and mosques to propagate Islam but needed a human vessel through which this could be achieved.
Mr. Mohammed, the commission’s spokesperson said, left the victim with no choice but to accept the offer of becoming the human vessel after threatening him that he either obeys the voice of the spirit or die.
“The accused person began to extort his victim and used the money to buy exotic cars and acquire a mansion in red bricks area of Kano state,” Mr. Uwujaren said.
One of the charges against the accused reads, “that you Mohammed Yusuf also known as Musbahu Yusuf Dabo, sometimes in November 2012, at Gusau, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Gusau, under false pretence with intent to defraud, induced one Alhaji Ya’u Mohammed and obtain the sum N680, 000 (Six Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira Only) and thereby committed an offence under section 1 of The Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.
The accused pleaded not guilty after the charge was read to him.
The prosecution counsel, B.M Buhari, asked the court for permission to proceed with the trial; but the defence counsel, B.M Muqaddam, urged the court to admit his client to bail on the grounds of ill health.
However, Mr. Buhari opposed the application on the grounds that the medical reports attached to the bail application were not certified.
The presiding judge agreed with the prosecution and refused the bail application. He, therefore, ordered the prosecution to call his first witness.
The case was adjourned to June 12 and 13, 2013 for continuation of trial, while the accused has been remanded in prison custody.
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