Court Convicts Ex-Nigerian Lawmaker, Chuma Nzeribe, For Impersonation, Forgery

Date: 23-05-2022 9:33 pm (1 month ago) | Author: onuigbo felicia
- at 23-05-2022 09:33 PM (1 month ago)

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja, on Monday, convicted a former member of the House of Representatives, Chuma Nzeribe, for impersonation and forgery.

Mr Nzeribe was prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, on a four-count charge.

Halilu Yusuf, the judge, found the former lawmaker guilty of impersonation, possession of federal government documents and using the same to fraudulently acquire land in the Maitama district of Abuja.

But, Mr Nzeribe could not be sentenced following his absence in court on Monday.

In his judgement, Mr Yusuf said he would reserve the sentence till the EFCC or police arrest the convict and bring him to court.

The judge ruled that the land in Maitama, acquired with the forged documents, should be taken over by the owner, Ishaya Madi, with immediate effect.

The judge said Mr Nzeribe has failed to attend three consecutive court sessions.

Instead, the politician sent a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the EFCC, surrendering the land to the real owner, Mr Madi.

When the EFCC’S lawyer, Maryam Ahmed, produced the letter personally signed by Mr Nzeribe, the judge only took judicial notice of it.

Mr Nzeribe’s lawyer, Victor Eden, informed the court that he was not aware of the discussion that led to the issuance of the MoU and the surrendering of the land in dispute to the nominal complainants

In March 2013, the former federal lawmaker was alleged to be in possession of a document containing false pretence with reference number MFCT/LA/FCT 1302, dated June 18, 2003, bearing the name of Ramatu Alhassan. He was, thus, accused of committing an offence contrary to Section 6, 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Mr Nzeribe, a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Anambra State, was, among others, accused of using the forged document as a genuine one, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) and punishable under Section 364 of the same Act.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges at the beginning of the case.

During Mr Nzeribe’s trial, the prosecution called five witnesses, while the defendant testified for himself.

In his verdict on Monday, the judge held that the prosecution was able to discharge the onus of proof against Mr Nzeribe beyond any reasonable doubt.

While submitting that the charges against the convict were intertwined, the judge convicted the defendant on all four charges.

He held that the convict indeed made false pretence and is guilty of forgery. He said Mr Nzeribe also cheated by impersonation.

Having found the former federal lawmaker guilty as charged by EFCC, Justice Halilu said the court would defer sentencing of the convict till he is brought before the court.

Posted: at 23-05-2022 09:33 PM (1 month ago) | Hero
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