Justice Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court sitting in Gombe has sentenced 29 year-old Khalil Ahmed Bappa to two years in prison for fraudulently extorting goods and money worth N267,000 from a female student of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.
Bappa, who claimed to be a Glo Ambassador, fraudulently extorted the goods and money from Yusra Ali Babakusa, a student of the ABU, with the assurances of making her a Glo Ambassador.
Standing trial for criminal charges bordering on Obtaining by False Pretences, offences contrary to and punishable under Sections 1(2) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bappa surprisingly changed his earlier innocence plea in court, and pleaded guilty to the two count charge read to him.
The EFCC principal witness, Mohammed Abdullahi, while reviewing facts of the case, narrated how Bappa sometime in 2012 presented himself as a Glo agent, promising to help Yusra become a Glo Ambassador through his contacts at Glo Communications.
Abdullahi stated that the accused person forwarded a code number to Yusra with assurances that she would soon be called up as one of the eventual winners and ambassador.
The convict also instructed her to send some money to him as part of the facilitation process and further told her to prepare for an interview trip to Glo head office in Lagos as her name had been selected; a journey Khalil told her had been paid for by Glo, which include accommodation and return flight ticket.
On the expected day of the journey, Khalil prompted her to wait for him several times, but stopped answering her calls after a while and eventually switched off his phone. It was when she made numerous attempts to reach him many days after but failed that she realised she had been fooled.
The investigator also informed the court that Bappa was invited; interviewed and volunteered his statement which confirmed investigation’s position that he fraudulently collected money and materials from the complainant.
Marrying the plea of the accused and the confessional statement corroborated by the witness’ incontrovertible testimony, Alqasim Ja’afar, prosecution counsel, applied that the accused be convicted as charged.
Relying on Section 11 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006, counsel further urged the court to compel the accused to pay back to the victim the amount involved as stated in the charge. In view of the evidence and exhibits tendered, the court convicted the accused as charged.
Based on the passionate plea of allocutus by the defence counsel Abubakar Imam, trial judge Justice Umar sentenced the convict to 12 months in prison without an option of fine on each of the two counts and the terms would run concurrently from the date of arrest.