A Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, sentenced a journalist, Sanusi Inuwa, to three years in prison for N10.2 million fraud.
Inuwa, 47, claims to be the publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Daily Focus newspaper.
The court imposed the sentence after finding Inuwa guilty of defrauding one Mr Hamza Galadima of the said amount.
Magistrate Folashade Oyekan held that the police, who prosecuted the case, proved it beyond reasonable doubt.
She also ordered the convict to pay the sum of N10.2 million to the complainant (Galadima) as compensation or spend five years in prison.
The convict was first arraigned on July 15, 2021, on a five-count charge of conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating, intimidation and defamation of character.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Inuwa had pleaded not guilty to all the counts, and was granted bail in the sum of N600,000.
According to the police, Inuwa jumped bail but was re-arraigned on June 14, 2022, and kept at the Keffi custodial centre until Wednesday.
The police had submitted that one Dr Ado Birchi introduced the convict to the complainant on April 24, 2021, as the publisher of the newspaper.
The police said that Inuwa collected N10 million from Galadima to renew his publication licence, promising to pay back after two months.
“The money was paid into the defendant’s Access Bank account on four different occasions.
“Two months elapsed without the defendant paying the money back as agreed.
“The defendant later handed over documents for one hectare of land at Sabo Lugbe, Abuja, to the complainant, claiming that the land was worth N13 million,” the police added.
According to the police, the convict also collected N250,000 from the complainant, but ran away and started publishing articles to tarnish his image.
The court heard that the land documents were later discovered to be forged by the convict.
According to the prosecutor, Mr Oyeyemi Adeniyi, the convict conspired with one Arma Yau, at large, to perpetrate the fraud, in contravention of Sections 97, 364, 322, 312 and 394 of the Penal Code.