The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned Hussaini Mohammed Hussaini, a legal practitioner, before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the State High Court sitting in Maiduguri on a one-count charge of land fraud to the tune of N4.2 million.
The defendant allegedly swindled the nominal complainant over sale of two plots of land which he claimed he had the owners’ instruction to sell.
But according to a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, investigation revealed that the defendant was neither a custodian of the land nor acquainted with the owner.
The charge reads: ‘‘That you, Hussaini M. Hussaini sometime in September, 2021 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently induced Suleiman Abiodun by deceiving him to deliver the total sum of Four Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N4, 200, 000.00), being money allegedly for the payment of two plots of land measuring 200ft by 100ft lying and situated at 44G Damboa Road, between Federal Road Safety Office and Federal Metro Radio Station, via Bank transfer from his Zenith Bank account number 2083694059 to account number 2119265725 domiciled at UBA, with account name; Alhassan Sanusi, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 of Penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of Borno State 1994 and punishable under Section 322 of the same Law.’’
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge.
Upon his plea, prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in the Correctional Centre. An attempt by counsel to the defendant, Ernest Bayo to move oral bail application for his client was refused as Justice Kumaliya insisted that bail application must be filed and served on all parties including the court before his prayer could be heard.
She adjourned the matter till January 17, 2022, for commencement of trial.
The defendant was remanded in the Correctional Facility.
In a similar development, one David Osigbe Irumekhai was also arraigned before Justice Kumaliya for his alleged involvement in a N9.9 million contract scam.
David obtained the money from his victim under the guise of financing five ‘Purchase Orders’ purportedly emanating from Terres Des Homme, International Medical Corps and International Organization for Migration and promised to pay back once the contracts were executed.
He, however, converted the money for his own use, deploying a huge chunk into funding his sports betting account.
The charge reads: ‘‘That you David Osigbe Irumekhai sometime in November, 2020 in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court dishonestly converted to your own use the total sum of Nine Million Nine Hundred Thousand Naira (N9, 900, 000.00) being money belonging to Nuhu Titus and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of Penal Code Law Cap 102, Laws of Borno State 1994 and Punishable under Section 309 of the same Law.’’
He pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Mohammed, asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in prison.
Justice Kumaliya adjourned the matter till January 25, 2022, for commencement of trial and remanded the defendant in the Correctional Centre.