Justice H.I. Oshomah of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Williams Greatman (aka Fubara Duke) to six months imprisonment for forging a Certificate of Occupancy in order to stand as a surety for a suspect. In the same court, another judge, M.L. Abubakar, also convicted and sentenced Keuseph Abi to six months imprisonment for forging a Certificate of Occupancy to secure bail of a suspect.
Mr Greatman was arraigned on Thursday, December 12, by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on two- count charges bordering on forgery contrary to Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 2007.
Count one read: That you WILLIAMS GREATMAN ALIAS FUBARA DUKE on or about the 1st day of August 2017 at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did forge a document, to wit; RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY No. 51 in the name of Fubara Duke with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria), 2007.”
The defendant changed his plea from not guilty to guilty based on a plea bargain agreement. In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, U.D Asueizibe, prayed the court to convict him accordingly.
The counsel to the defendant, Ebimoboere Peresei, did not oppose Mr Asueizibe’s prayers.
Justice Oshomah sentenced him to six months imprisonment.
Mr Williams ran into trouble when the commission received a petition from the Deputy Registrar of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, alleging that the convict presented a forged certificate of Occupancy in securing the bail of a suspect in court. Investigations revealed that the convict specialized in forging documents of all kinds to enable him stand as surety for defendants before the court.
On his part, Mr Abi was arraigned on December 10 by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC, on a one-count charge bordering on forgery contrary to Section 6 of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The count reads: “That you, Keuseph Douglas Abi on or about the 10th of May, 2016, in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, had in your possession a fraudulent Certificate of Occupancy number 021853 belonging to Adokiye Samuel Briggs which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and Punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The defendant pleaded ‘’guilty’’ to the one-count charge preferred against him.
Justice Abubakar convicted and sentenced him to six months imprisonment with an option of a fine of N100,000.