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Court Jails Fake American, Two Others in Kaduna

Justice A.A Isiaka of the Kaduna State High Court, sitting in Kaduna has convicted and sentenced a fake American, Stephen Thomas to five years imprisonment.

He was jailed after pleading guilty to a one-count charge bordering on impersonation by the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

His charge reads: “That you, Stephen Thomas (a.k.a Rolanda Collins), male, sometimes in February 2024 at Narayi Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated one Rolando Collins (an American citizen) on Facebook and in such assumed character, cheated one Kate Stewarton (an American citizen) the sum of $100 (One Hundred USD) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 and punishable under Section 309 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law 2017.”

He pleaded “guilty” to the charge when it was read to him which prompted the prosecution counsel, M. J. Arugungu urged the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

Justice Isiaka thereafter convicted and sentenced the defendant to five years imprisonment or to pay a fine of 150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).

The convict also forfeited his Infinix X mobile phone and the sum of $100 (One Hundred USD) to the federal government.

In another development, the Kaduna Zonal Command arraigned Bashiru Adamu and Yushau Mohammed Ahmed before Justices A.A. Isiaka of the State High Court and Hawau Buhari of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna respectively. They were docked for failure to declare assets, criminal breach of trust and obtaining money by false pretence.

One of Adamu’s charges reads: “That you, Bashiru Adamu (M), sometime in 2021 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently obtained the total sum of N25,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Million Naira) from one Brigadier General J.A. Faransa (Rtd.), when you falsely represented yourself as being capable of securing and delivering to him a Toyota Hilux vehicle, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

The second charge reads: “That you, Bashiru Adamu (M), sometime in 2021 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently induced one Brigadier General JA Faransa (Rtd.) to deliver to you a Peugeot 406 vehicle, when you falsely represented yourself as being capable of securing and delivering to him a Toyota Hilux vehicle, which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

The one-count charge against Ahmed reads: “That you, Yushau Mohammed Ahmed (male), on or about the 1st day of July 2019, at Kaduna, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of all your assets and properties to wit: Plot No. 116 Cadastral Zone B05, measuring about 5000sqm within Cadastral Zone B05, Utako District, Abuja, when you completed the Declaration of Assets Form contrary to Section 27(3) (a) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3) of the same Act.”

Both defendants pleaded “not guilty” to their charges when they were read to them. Consequently, prosecution counsel, M.U Gadaka and M. E. Eimonye prayed the court for a trial commencement date and for the defandants to be remanded in a Correctional centre. However, counsel to Ahmed, K. Mustapha prayed the court to allow him continue to enjoy an existing bail granted him by Justice Hadiza in 2023 before she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

After listening to both counsels, Justice Isiaka remanded Adamu in the Kaduna Correctional Centre and adjourned the case for hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial respectively.

Justice Buhari, on the other hand, adjourned Ahmed’s case till June 5, 2024 for commencement of trial and granted that the defendant continued to enjoy his earlier bail.

While Thomas bagged his imprisonment for impersonating an American, Rolando Collins to defraud his victims, Adamu is facing trial owing to the claims of a petitioner, Jeremiah Aliyu Faransa who alleged that he engaged his services sometime in 2021to supply him a brand new Toyota Hilux 2021 model at an agreed cost of N35,000.00. Though the suspect claimed that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service seized the car after he had made the purchase, he could not show any proof of its purchase or evidence of its seizure.

Ahmed’s trouble came from his failure to declare his assets when he completed the Declaration of Assets Form contrary to Section 27(3) (a) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 27(3) of the same Act.”

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