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Court Jails Immigration Officer In Gombe, One Other In Bauchi

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Justices H.H Kereng and Muazu Abubakar of the Gombe State High Court, Gombe and Bauchi State High Court, Bauchi have convicted and sentenced Dabiet Onyemi Gilbert and Saleh Haruna to different jail terms for fraud.

Gilbert, an employee of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) was
prosecuted on a one-count charge of obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N800,000.00 (Eighth Hundred Thousand Naira) by the Gombe Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while Haruna faced a two-count charge bordering on forgery.

Gilbert’s charge reads: “That you Dabiet Onyemi Gilbert on or about 28th May, 2021 in Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N800,000 (Eighth Hundred Thousand Naira) from Akoh Daniel Accoustic by falsely representing that the said sum was for job placement with the Nigerian Correctional Services which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Law”.

Count two of Saleh charge reads: “That you Mohammed Mustapha Sallah and Saleh Haruna sometimes between 2013 and 2014 at Bauchi, Bauchi State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court criminally “forged” a public government document and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 364 of the Penal Code and punishable under 364 of the Penal Code Law.”

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While Gilbert pleaded “guilty” to his one-count charge, prompting prosecution counsel, A.M Labaran to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly, though the defence counsel, Yusuf Ali pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, Haruna pleaded “guilty” only to count-two of his charges,
prompting prosecution counsel M.Ugbe to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

Justice Kereng afterwards convicted and sentenced Gilbert to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of N60,000, while Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced Haruna to five years imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) and adjourned till July 8, 2024 for hearing on count one of the charges.

Gilbert’s journey to prison began when his victim petitioned the EFCC after realizing that he had been defrauded over a non-existing Nigerian Correctional Services’ (NCS) job while all efforts to get his money back proved abortive. Haruna, on the other hand, bagged his imprisonment when a petitioner alleged that he conspired with one Mohammed Mustapha Sallah to defraud him of the sum of N950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) being payment for a landed property, which he neither took possession of nor his money returned to him.

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Meanwhile, the Gombe Zonal Command of the EFCC on June 25, 2024 arraigned
Haruna’s alleged accomplice, Mohammed Mustapha Sallah before Justice Abubakar. He is facing prosecution on three-count charges, bordering on conspiracy, forgery and intent to defraud.

One of the counts reads: “That you Mohammed Mustapha Sallah sometimes between 2013 and 2014 at Bauchi, Bauchi State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did with intent to defraud induce one Ismaila Abdullahi to deliver to you the sum N950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) only as payment for a landed property belonging to you Mohammed Mustapha Sallah which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to all the three count charges, following which prosecution counsel, M.Ugbe asked the court for a trial date, adjournment and for the defendant to be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCS), while the defence counsel, Mohammed Hassan
pleaded for a short adjournment to fast-track the defendant’s release on bail.

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Justice Abubakar remanded Sallah in Bauchi State Correctional Centre and adjourned the case till July 8, 2024 for hearing of his bail application.

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