A high court sitting in the Adamawa State capital on Thursday sentenced two women for offences bordering on impersonation.
Justice Nathan Musa of State High Court I, Yola, sentenced Fatima Bello to 10 years imprisonment or N200,000 fine for impersonating Senator Binta Garba.
In a separate judgement same day, Justice Nathan sentenced another woman, Mercy Elder to seven years without an option of fine for defrauding people under the false pretence of being an operative of the Department of State Service (DSS).
In the case of Fatima Bello, she had been charged with passing herself off as Sen Binta Masi on social media and extorting money from people on promises of jobs and other favours.
She was said to have achieved some success from the cybercrime as Binta Masi who represented Adamawa North Senatorial District in the National Assembly between 2015 and 2019 is a famous Adamawa citizen.
Passing his verdict on Fatima Bello, Justice Nathan said he was being lenient with the woman because she pleaded guilty timely, saving the court time, and that she is the mother of an innocent 16-month-old baby who may suffer should she be sent to prison without an option.
She, however, ordered that she be returned to the correctional centre as a convict till she pays the N200,000 fine.
Ruling on Mercy Elder, Justice Nathan said the woman committed heinous offences of pretending to be what she was not and for relying on such pretence to take money from people.
Before Mercy got into trouble, she had approached the family of a deceased former justice of the state to claim that she was an assistant director with the DSS and that she had the connections to influence the payment of entitlements of the deceased justice if the family would give her N200,000.
The family members who were said to have failed in getting the entitlements from the government after a long try was said to have given her the money only for her to spend it and not fulfill her end part of the bargain.
The act that finally got her in trouble, according to the prosecution counsel who handled the case, Abdulrahman Iliyasu, was attempting to dupe a local council chairman.
Abdulrahman told newsmen after the ruling on Thursday that Mercy Elder had gone to the Executive Chairman of the Guyuk Local Government to say that DSS operatives were about to arrest him following a petition against him and that he should pay her money to avert the arrest.
The council chairman, according to Abdulrahman, responded by directing her to the council head of service who, suspecting foul play, went to the DSS state office in Yola to verify Mercy Elder’s identity.
The DSS took the matter from there, arresting Mercy Elder and charging her to court.