By Emmanuel Udom
Justice Fatima Musa of the Gombe State High Court 13 has convicted and sentenced Usman Adamu Shagari to four and half years jail term for his involvement in fertilizer scam.
Shagari was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on six- count charge for production and sales of adulterated fertilizer in Gombe Metropolitan City and Lariski village in Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The offence is punishable under Section 374 of the Penal Code
Dele Oyewale, Head, Media & Publicity for the agency said Shagari’s ordeal followed a petition to the Commission in July 2019 on his activities and those of his accomplices. Investigation led the raid of three illegal factories of the adulterated fertilizer where a fully loaded truck of 600 bags and two Toyota Tacoma pick-up vans with 81 bags, were intercepted with the adulterated products.
Investigation further revealed that the modus operandi of Shagari and his cohorts was to buy the genuine fertilizer from recognised companies like Indorama, Kasco, Tag Agro fertilizer, Albarka fertilizer, Nasara fertilizer, Golden fertilizer and Federal Government fertilizer and mix them with sand, re-bag in their printed bags of original companies without authority and sell the products to customers as original.
While Shagari pleaded guilty and was accordingly convicted and sentenced his four other accomplices: Idris Ali, Muhammad Alhassan Alaramma, Dahiru Salisu and Adamu Abdurahman who were each arraigned on ten count charges, pleaded not guilty. Shagari, who was sentenced to four and half years is to spend six months in jail on count one with an option of N20,000 fine; on count two, he is to spend one year in jail or a fine of N30,000; on count three, he is to spend six months in prison or N20,000 fine. Shagari was also handed one year imprisonment on count four with an option of fine to the tune of N30, 000.
On count five, he was handed six months jail term with N20, 000 fine option. He is also to serve one year on count six or a fine of N30, 000.
The sentences are, however, to run concurrently. The Judge also ordered that all the fertilizers in the ‘factory’ should be destroyed. In line with the court’s judgement, the Gombe Zonal Head of the Commission, DCDS Ibrahim Shazali, led relevant stakeholders from NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, Ministry of Environment, Religious and Community leaders and Media organisations in destroying the fake fertilizer.