Justice Sale Musa Shuaibu of the Federal High Court in Kaduna delivered a significant judgment today, convicting former House of Representatives member Mansur Ali Mashi on charges of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretenses.
The trial, which spanned a staggering 12 years, also resulted in the conviction of three bank officials: Abdulmumini Mustapha, Shehu Aliyu, and Muazu Abdu.
The case revolved around the fraudulent acquisition of a loan amounting to N212,439,552 from Sterling Bank, which Mashi diverted for personal use.
Long-Awaited Justice Served: Conviction Brings an End to a Protracted Legal Battle
The conviction marks the culmination of a protracted legal battle initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which painstakingly exposed the use of fictitious companies by Mashi to secure the fraudulent loan.
Throughout the trial, the case faced numerous setbacks caused by the elevation or retirement of trial judges.
However, the EFCC persisted, presenting six witnesses and several exhibits to substantiate their claims against the defendants.
Absent Defendants Await Sentencing: Court Delivers Verdict Despite Their Absence
During the judgment on June 15, the first and fourth defendants were absent from court. Despite their absence, Justice Shuaibu, in a well-considered decision, found the first defendant guilty on counts 1 to 8, and the fourth defendant guilty on all counts.
The court has reserved sentencing for these absent defendants until they are apprehended and brought before the court to face justice.
Sterling Bank Officials Also Held Accountable: Penalties and Restitution Ordered
Abdulmumini Mustapha, the former branch manager of Sterling Bank, and Shehu Aliyu, the bank’s former Head of Operation, were both convicted for their involvement in the fraudulent scheme.
Mustapha received a five-year prison sentence on each of counts 1 to 15, with no option for a fine. Additionally, he was ordered to restitute Sterling Bank with the sum of N40,000,000 (Forty Million Naira).
Aliyu, on the other hand, was discharged on counts 1-8 but found guilty on counts 9 to 15, resulting in a five-year prison sentence for each count, also without the possibility of a fine.
Contempt of Court Case Looms: Mashi Awaits Judgment for Selling Confiscated Properties
While the verdict for this trial has been reached, Mansur Ali Mashi’s legal battles are far from over. He currently awaits judgment on a separate case of contempt of court, related to the alleged sale of properties confiscated from him under an interim forfeiture order.
This judgment, scheduled for today, June 16, 2023, will determine the consequences he faces for these actions.