Justice A. B. Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Jabi, Abuja, on Monday, July 2, 2018 convicted one Bala Tangalu, a self styled native doctor, on the two counts of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Tangalu was arrested and charged to court on February 22, 2017 following a petition by one Dozie Ugonna that the defendant and his cohorts defrauded him to the tune of N2.5million. According to the petitioner, the money was meant for the purchase of materials to neutralize some harmful charms purportedly contained in a carton filled with US dollars.
The Offences is contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under Section 8(c) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006. In a judgment which lasted almost an hour, Justice Mohammed found Tangalu guilty as charged.
Citing Section 352 (5) of the ACJA, 2015, the judge said, “The suspect is hereby convicted on the two counts of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence. He will be sentenced whenever he surrenders himself to the court or he is been arrested”. The defendant and his counsel had in the course of trial abandoned the case after several adjournments, forcing the court to order the trial to continue in his absentia.
Justice Mohammed said the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts adding that “all evidence admitted before the court was unchallenged by the defendant and his counsel”.
The judge said, “based on all the evidences by the complainant; confession by the suspect; reports by the office of the Directorate of State Services, DSS; and the EFCC; the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts”.