Landlady Bags 24-Year Jail Term For $298,000 Property Fraud

A property owner has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for fraud to the tune of $298,000 and N40,000,000.

According to a statement Thursday, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the property owner, Mercy Yusuf, was convicted alongside her company, TM Properties Limited, by Justice E. Okpe of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Nyanya, Abuja, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

TheFact Daily reports that the EFCC had on October 20, 2021 arraigned the convicts on a four-count charge that bordered on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and presenting false documents as genuine. They had pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting the commencement of trial.

In the course of the trial which commenced on February 1, 2022, the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered 14 documents that were admitted in evidence as exhibits. At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defendants opened their defence on November 1, 2022, with the first defendant testifying on behalf of herself and the 2nd defendant.

The final written addresses were adopted by the prosecution and defence on March 6, 2023 and the matter was adjourned to March 7, 2023 for judgment.

Delivering judgment on Tuesday, March 7, Justice Okpe held that the prosecution had proved the case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt. The Court therefore convicted the defendants on all the counts and sentenced them to 10 years imprisonment on counts one and two, and 2 years imprisonment on counts three and four, which are to run concurrently.

The court further ordered the convicts to make restitution in the sum of $298,000 (Two Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand United States Dollars) and N40 million to the nominal complainant.

The convicts were found to have fraudulently obtained the sum of $298,000 (Two Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand United States Dollars) and N40million (Forty Million Naira) from Bacab Properties Limited under the false pretence that she (Mercy Yusuf) was the beneficial owner of Plot 1721 Jahi District, Cadastral Zone B08, situated in Abuja.

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