Court Convicts Three Persons over Land Scam


By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of three persons — Bulama Yahaya, Wakil Bukar and Umar Bukar Gaji — over a N1.5 million land scam.

They were arraigned by the North-east zonal office of the commission before Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court sitting in Maiduguri on an amended two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and cheating.

The prosecuting counsel, Halima Shehu, informed the court of the amended two-count charge, which was necessitated by the disappearance of the prime suspect in the case, and a plea bargain agreement dated February 5, 2019.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Bulama Yahaya, Wakil Bukar and Umar Bukar Gaji, sometime in June 2017, in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand naira) only from one Mohammed Abatchato whom you sold Plot No 305 to him instead of Plot No 902 situated at Polo on BOTP/159 Extension Layout behind Federal High Court Maiduguri under the false pretence that the said Plot No 902 belongs to Umar Bukar Gaji, which pretence you knew to be false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 (a) of the Borno State Penal Code Laws CAP. 102 and punishable under section 322 of the same Law.”

She prayed the court to substitute and read the charges earlier filed on November 19, 2018 with the amended one dated February 7, 2019 “to enable them take their pleas”.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the amended charges.

Justice Kumaliya, thereafter, convicted them and sentenced them to six months in prison with an option of N20,000 as fine.