Justice M. L. Shuaibu of Federal High Court, sitting in Kaduna on Thursday sentenced Muhammad El Ameen Al Haleel, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to three years imprisonment each on five of the seven counts of fraudulent dealings and obtaining the sum of N60million under false pretence.
Mr Al Haleel was arraigned on November 16, 2011 for defrauding Shuaibu Sani Teidi, a governorship aspirant in Kogi state of the sum of N60 million with a promise to facilitate a meeting between him and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad Namadi Sambo, to ensure that he (Mr Teidi) got nominated as the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi state.
Mr Al-Haleel also promised to use part of the money to get clearance for Mr Teidi from the EFCC to enable him stand for the 2011 election.
Mr Teidi is a former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who is also being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside 39 others accused persons over a N4.56 billion Pension scam.
In his judgment, Justice Shuaibu said he was lenient on the accused because he was a first time offender.
Mr Teidi, on February 8, 2012, testified before the court that Mr Al Haleel, collected the sum of N60 million from him to facilitate a meeting between him and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to ensure that he got nominated as the governorship flag bearer of the PDP in Kogi state.
The ex-pension boss said sometimes in 2011, he visited the accused and discussed his political issues with him. “I told him I needed ticket i.e. support for the governorship race in Kogi state most especially from the office of the Vice President and also clearance from former EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri, whom he claimed he had contacted”.
He further told the court that to facilitate his ticket from the Vice President, Mr Al-Haleel told him that the vice president would need N10 million for his clearance and N50 million for former EFCC boss, Mrs Waziri.
Shuaibu said he gave the N10 million to the accused personally at his house while $320,000 was delivered to him at home by his driver.
“He then called me to say that I should change the $320,000 to naira equivalent as he claimed that Mrs Waziri said she needed it in naira equivalent”.
According to Mr Teidi, he had to change the dollar to naira which amounted to N50 million, which he handed to his driver to deliver to Mr Al-Haleel.
Immediately he collected the N60 million from his driver, Mr Al-Haleel stopped picking his calls, a development that prompted Mr Teidi to call one Mr. Smith who acted as the link between them and reported Al-Haleel to him.
“After he collected the money, he stopped picking my calls which prompted my calling Mr. Smith and he told me to try him again of which I did. He (Al Ameen) then sent me a text message saying he will not take it likely with Mrs. Farida Waziri. He said he was going to hold her responsible for that money and that he will not take it easy with her at all”.
When asked by the prosecution counsel, Austin Emumejakpor what the money was meant for, Mr Teidi said the N60 million given to Al-Haleel was purportedly for the duo of the Vice President, Mr Sambo and former EFCC chairman, Mrs Waziri but was never delivered.
In response to a question as to how he knew that the money was not delivered, Mr Teidi said he knew because he never got a clearance from Mrs Waziri and nothing also came from the Vice President too.