Daily Trust (Abuja)

14 February 2013

Nigeria: Former Taraba Assembly Member Docked Over Impersonation, Fraud

Former member of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Dominic Bukuni and one Bobeto Haruna, a resident of UTC Jalingo, have been arraigned before a Jalingo Magistrate's Court on a three count charge of criminal conspiracy, impersonation and cheating.

The offences which are punishable with three years imprisonment, contravene Sections 97, 197 and 322 of the Penal Code.

The prosecutor, Yohanna Busari, told the court that the accused persons impersonated the Vice Chancellor of Taraba State University, Mohammed Sani Yahaya and the senator representing Taraba South, Emmanuel Bwacha, and collected huge sums of money from unsuspecting persons on the pretence that they would secure employments for them at the Taraba State University, Jalingo.

According to the police First Information Report presented before the court, the duo between June and December last year collected N2. 2 million from one Philomina Yabana and 14 others.

The accused persons were also alleged to have collected another N1. 4 million from one Bala Yakubu and 12 others.

The prosecutor further alleged that Dominic and Bobeto duped the former chairman of Ibi Local Government Area , Ishaku Adamu, of N500,000 and a bull worth N85,000 with the promise that they would plead with members of the Taraba State House of Assembly to lift his suspension and those of his councillors.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and their counsel, Stephen Lawrence and Tanko Ayuba, applied for their bail to enable them seek medical attention.

The prosecutor opposed the bail application, arguing that the accused need to be in custody to facilitate easy access for investigation.

After the argument, Magistrate Yusuf Baba Soro, said based on Section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the offences were bailable and granted the accused persons bail in the sums of N200, 000 each with two sureties each in like sums.

He also ruled that the sureties must be resident in Jalingo and must also have landed property in Jalingo worth N3 million. The case has been adjourned February 28.

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