A fake Bayelsa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board Cooridnator identified as Muhammad Halim Ogbobio, has been handed a 28 year jail sentence after being found guilty of N12m fraud by Justice J.E. Iyang of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The suspect who posed as the coordinator of Muslim Pigrims Welfare Board from 2009-2012, was first arraigned on a 5-count charge bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of Twelve Million One Hundred and Thirty Naira (N12,130,000.00) in bogus hajj fees on March 19, 2015 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal office.
Muhammad Halim Ogbobio ran out of luck after his victims who were introduced to him by one Adodo Yusuf Oristsegbubemi, were unable to attend the 2012 Hajj exercise they paid a total of Twelve Million One Hundred and Thirty Naira (N12,130,000.00) for. It was further learnt that all effort to retrieve their money failed.
One of the charges reads;
“That you Muhammad Halim Ogbobio and others now at large on the 3rd day of September 2012 at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of Six Million Seven Hundred Thousand Naira(N6,700,000.00) from one Ibrahim Abdullahi Paisa which said sum was paid into your Sky Bank account No. 1010839270 under the pretence that you are one of the Coordinators of 2012 Hajji Exercise, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under 1 (3)of the same Act”.
Ogbobio who pleaded not guilty to the charges before the commencement of trial, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment each on counts 2, 3, 4 and 5 which he was found guilty of. He was however acquitted on count one.
The sentences are to run concurrently from March 19, 2015, the date he was arraigned.