ICPC Case: Woman Bags One-Year Jail Term for Forging Late Abba Kyari’s Signature

The Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja has sentenced a businesswoman and mother of five children, Mrs. Ramat Mercy Mba to one-year imprisonment for her involvement in an employment scam and forging of the signature of late Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the former President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Mohammad had last week, deferred the sentencing of the convict till Thursday but directed that she should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre.

ICPC had 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.

In the course of the trial, the Commission, through its Prosecutor, Mr. Hamza Sani had led evidence before the court on how the convict committed the offence sometime in 2020 when she collected N4.5 million from several job seekers promising to secure jobs for them with ICPC and National Air Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).

Furthermore, the documentary evidence tendered shows 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.

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 authorizing the letter.

In his judgement on the 9th of May, 2024, the trial judge, 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 deals with a felony.

Justice Mohammad, during the sentencing hearing on Thursday, pronounced a six-month jail term or N100,000 option of fine on counts 1,2 and 3 for the convict.

The presiding judge, who emphasized the status of the convict as a first-time offender and a mother also sentenced her to one-year imprisonment or N150,000 option on fine on count 5 which borders on forgery