Justice M.A Shambu of Bauchi State High Court, sitting in Bauchi on Thursday, December 14, 2023, convicted and sentenced one Ibrahim Abdullahi to one-year imprisonment for stealing the sum of N30,000 (Thirty Thousand Naira only) through fraudulent swapping of an Automated Teller Machine, ATM, card.
Abdullahi was arraigned on two charges of stealing by the Gombe Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
One of the charges reads: “That you Ibrahim Abdullahi, sometime in September 2023 or thereabout at Bauchi, Bauchi State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, committed theft of N30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand Naira) by taking it out of the possession of Zainab Usman, through the use of her UBA ATM card contrary the Section 287 of the Penal Code Law.”
He pleaded guilty to the charges, prompting the EFCC counsel, A.B. Kware to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly, while his counsel, Jamilu Salihu pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his client he said, was a first-time offender who has promised to turn a new leaf.
Justice Shambu convicted and sentenced Abdullahi to one-year imprisonment or to pay a fine of N20,000 (Twenty Thousand Naira) and restitute the sum of N30,000 to his victim.
Abdullahi’s journey to the Correctional Centre began when a petitioner alleged that on November 22, 2023, she got a debit alert of N30,000 from her UBA account, having earlier in the day, gone to the bank to make a withdrawal where she met the convict, who offered to assist her to operate the ATM. Upon releasing her card to him, he slotted it in the machine and claimed the transaction was “unsuccessful” and returned the card to her. However, shortly after she got home, she got a debit alert of N30,000 and also discovered that the card Abdullahi returned to her was not hers.
Upon arrest and interrogation, Abdullahi confessed that he relocated from Kano State to Bauchi State to engage in ATM card swapping to raise money for his planned wedding. He further revealed that he perfected the swapping act, all by himself; adding that the five different ATM cards found in his possession belonged to his victims.