Juliana Francis

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja has convicted Mrs Ramat Mercy Mba, a mother of five, for forging the signature of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, the late Abba Kyari.

The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Mohammad however deferred the sentencing of the convict till Thursday, 16th of May, 2024 but directed that she should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

In a statement signed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), spokesman, Demola Bakare, says that ICPC arraigned Mba in June 2022 on a 5-count charge bordering on cheating, fraud and forgery contrary to Section 13 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 200 and Sections 320 (b), 366 of the Penal Code Cap 89 laws of Northern Nigeria.

One of the counts read: “That you Ramat Mercy Mba (F) sometime in October 2019 or thereabout at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently induce one Mra Ismail Adewole Oladipupo, an unsuspecting job seeker and collected the sum of Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only N700,000.00 from him which sum was paid into your private account under the guise of securing employment for him at the National Space Research and Development Agency. (NASDRA), AND you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(b) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria.”

According to Bakare, in the course of the trial, ICPC’s Prosecutor, Mr Hamza Sani, Esq. led evidence before the court on how the convict dishonestly induced her victims in the guise of securing employment for them with government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Bakare said that furthermore, documentary evidence tendered showed that the convict fraudulently forged a letterhead paper of the Office of the Chief of Staff to former President Muhammad Buhari, Abba Kyari and his signature.

Bakare stated: “The letter, addressed to the Chairman of ICPC was a request for the recruitment of three individuals by the Commission. However, the late Chief of Staff, in a written correspondence that was also tendered in court as an exhibit distanced himself or his office from authorising the letter.

In his judgement, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad convicted the mother of five children on counts 1, 2, 3 and 5 which deal with cheating and forgery while she was discharged on count 4 which deals with felony.”

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