Justice Sale Musa Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Kaduna on Thursday, June 15, 2023, convicted a former member of the House of Representatives, Mansur Ali Mashi on eight counts of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretenses.
Mashi, who represented Mashi Dutsi federal constituency, was convicted alongside three bank officials: Abdulmumini Mustapha, Shehu Aliyu and Muazu Abdu in a trial that lasted 12 years.
Mashi was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for using fictitious companies to fraudulently obtain a loan facility to the tune of N212,439,552 (Two Hundred and Twelve Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty-two Naira) only from Sterling Bank, which he diverted personal use.
Upon arraignment, the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them and the case proceeded to trial. In the course of trial, the matter suffered several setbacks due to elevation or retirement of the trial judges. But the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered several exhibits to prove the case against the defendants.
At the last adjourned date, counsel to the parties adopted their final written addresses and the matter was subsequently adjourned till June 15 and 16, 2023 for judgment.
However, when the matter was called on Thursday, June 15, the 1st defendant was absent in court. But the court in a well-considered judgment, pronounced him guilty on counts 1 to 8 and was convicted accordingly.
The 4th defendant was also absent but the court found him guilty on all counts and convicted in.
The court however reserved sentencing for the two absentee defendants until they are arrested and brought before the court..
The 2nd defendant Abdulmumin Mustapha who is the former branch manager of Sterling Bank was convicted on counts 1 to 15 and sentenced to five years imprisonment on each count without option of fine. The court further ordered the 2nd defendant to restitute Sterling Bank in the sum of N40, 000,000 (Forty Million Naira).
The 3rd defendant who was the former Head of Operation of the bank, was discharged on count 1-8 but convicted on counts 9 to 15 and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on each count without option of fine.
The 1st defendant, Mansur Ali Mashi, is also awaiting judgment in a case of contempt of court before the same court. The judgment is slated for today, June 16, 2023.
In this particular case, Mashi is alleged to have sold the properties that were confiscated from him by the Court through an interim forfeiture order