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Herbalist bags 5 years imprisonment over N8m fraud

A 58-year-old Ekiti herbalist, Nurudeen Ibrahim was sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for fraud for allegedly defrauding a businesswoman of the sum of N8million.

Ibrahim was arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court, on Tuesday, on Aug. 2, 2022, on a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and indecent assault.

The prosecutor, Insp Elijah Adejare, had during trial told the court that Ibrahim and others now at large, committed the offences sometime in September 2019, in Aramoko-Ekiti.

He said that the convict and others now at large conspired to commit felony, by false pretext obtained N10.4 million from the complainant, and indecently assaulted her.

According to him, the offences, contravened Sections 516, 419, and 353 of the Criminal Code Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria, 2012.

The complainant in her testimony before the court, said that she was a businesswoman, based in Lagos, but in September 2019, when her business suffered some setbacks, her father invited her home to Aramoko-Ekiti, and introduced her to the herbalist “for assistance.”

“Thereafter, I discovered he had used charm on me; he was collecting my money, on the pretext of finding solutions to my problems.

“He sexually assaulted me and slept with me severally. I sold my cars and house among others for the sum of N10.4 million, which he collected from me.

“He also collected some of my personal belongings and gave them to his wife. I bought a car for him from the proceeds of my sold properties, with evidence.

“When I became seriously sick, I begged him to please give me part of the money to take care of myself, but he refused and instead threatened my life if I informed anyone of what had transpired between us,” she said.

To prove his case, Adejare called seven witnesses, and tendered statements of the complainant, her photographs on sick bed, some charms and fetish objects, Toyota Camry car and the defendant’s statement as exhibits.

The convict gave evidence in his defence and denied some of the allegations during examination in chief by his counsel, Mr Busuyi Ayorinde.

He, however, admitted to obtaining N8 million from the businesswoman and called one witness to give evidence on his behalf.

Delivering judgment, the Magistrate, Mr Olatomiwa Daramola said: “I find the defendant not guilty of offence of conspiracy, he is discharged and acquitted.

“However, he is found guilty of the offence of obtaining by false pretences to wit fraud and convicted accordingly.

“He is hereby sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour, or an option of restitution of the sum of N8 million, being the amount the convict admitted having obtained from the victim, which the court has found to be under false pretence, in lieu of imprisonment.

“On the Toyota Camry Car, which was found to be proceed of crime, the court is empowered by Section 296 (b) of the Ekiti State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2014, to order that it be applied as part of the sum of N8 million, due to the complainant, and I so hold,” Daramola said.

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