A Federal High Court sitting in Kano state on Tuesday, convicted and sentenced two men, Mohammed Mansur and Mohammed Auwal, to 21 years imprisonment after they pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The commission said in a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that the convicts were arraigned on July 9, 2013 for conspiracy and an attempt to defraud one Alhaji Auwal Ayagi under the guise of procuring plots of land from him for Visafone Communications Limited.
According to the charge, they had claimed to be agents of Visafone Communications Limited, located at Zoo Road, Kano outlet, and had been assigned by their company to help purchase plots of land from the complainant.
The deal was to be worth N30m, for which the duo demanded that 10 per cent be paid into their bank accounts as commission. Upon arraignment they pleaded not guilty but, in the course of trial, after the prosecution had called one witness, the two men dramatically changed their plea and owned up to their crime.
Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, Idris Haruna, urged the court to convict them accordingly.
“Justice Fatu Riman of the Federal High Court Kano consequently convicted the accused persons and sentenced them to 21 years imprisonment each without the option of fine. The sentence of the first convict who has been in prison custody since arraignment for failure to meet his bail terms is to start from the date of arraignment,” the statement read.