The Court of Appeal, Sokoto division, has upheld the 14 years jail term handed down to a deputy director of Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Ahmed Balarabe by a Zamfara State High Court, for defrauding some job seekers of N8 million.
Balarabe was charged before Justice Bello Shinkafi of the Zamfara State High Court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 2-count charge of obtaining by false pretence.
The court was told how Balarabe, while being the coordinator of the Federal Character Commission in Zamfara and Sokoto states between 2017 and 2018, collected over N8 million from unsuspecting job seekers with the promise of giving them jobs, thereby contravening Section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006.
Justice Shinkafi then sentenced Balarabe to 14 years imprisonment with an option of a fine of N500, 000 and also ruled that the convict pay back N7 million to the victims of the crime.
However, dissatisfied with the ruling, the convict had approached the appellate court to quash the judgment of the trial court.
While his counsel, Mr A. Y. Abubakar argued that the court should dismiss the judgment, ICPC counsel, Mashkur Salisu, argued that the conviction was in line with the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006 violated by Balarabe.
Having listened to the argument from the two counsel, the appellate court unanimously dismissed the appeal on the ground of lack of merit and affirmed the decision of the trial court.