Devil asked me to dupe Okonjo-Iweala, Deziani, others, suspect tells Court

By IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI, Abuja
An Abuja Chief Magistrate Court, yesterday, fixed April 9 to sentence one Mr Aminu Ado Yarima, who had on Wednesday, narrated how the devil, sometime in December last year, deceived him into impersonating the National Security Adviser, NSA, Mr Sambo Dasuki.

Aminu, who pleaded guilty to a one count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Police , told the court that it was the same devil that commanded him to dupe four sitting Ministers under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Consequently, he bought a GSM line, 08034467417, which he used and called the personal phone numbers of the Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister of the Nigerian economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke,  Information Minister, Labaran Maku and the Minister of Education, Ruqayyat Rufai.

Nevertheless, the operation went awry for the 42 years old accused person who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, shortly after he called the four chosen Ministers and identified himself as the NSA, demanding to have a private audience with each of them with a view to discussing certain issues of great national importance.

Sensing danger, one of the Ministers was said to have notified the Police which promptly traced the call and apprehended the accused person.

Meanwhile, though the prosecuting counsel who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Stanley Nwodo, told the court that the offence was contrary to the provisions of sections 132, 324 and 325 of the Penal Code Cap 89 Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963, however, both the accused person and his counsel, Mr Edwin Atta, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, insisting that it was the devil that orchestrated the criminal act.

Specifically, the accused person told the court that not only was he a first time offender, he said that he has two wives and two kids that depend on him for survival, adding that his mother died of shock while he was in detention.

The defence counsel equally urged the trial court to take into account that the accused person voluntarily pleaded guilty to the offence, saying he had since repented of his actions and shown deep remorse.

However, at the resumed sitting on the case yesterday, the accused contended Police erred in law by charging him under section 324 and 325 which deals with cheating, insisting that though he called the Ministers, he never duped them.

His argument was vehemently opposed by the prosecutor who maintained that it was already belated for the accused to amend his plea, just as he urged the court to go ahead and exercise its discretion accordingly.

After listening to all the parties, trial Magistrate Grace Adebayo adjourned for ruling.

Specifically, the charge against the accused reads: “That you mallam Aminu Ado Yarima, “M”,  on or about the 20th day of December, 2012, at Nyanya-Keffi road through GSM number 08034467417, pretends to hold office of the National Security Adviser and falsely personated to the Minister of Finance- Dr Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, Ministers of Information, Education and Petroleum respectively as holding such office and in such assumed character attempted to cheat by personation and to dishonestly induce them under the colour of such office and thereby committed the offences aforementioned.”

His offence attracts a maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment upon conviction.

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