Bala Tangalu, a self styled native doctor a.k.a Babalawo, have been convicted on two counts of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice A. B. Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory who handed the judgment to the babalawo during a court sitting in Jabi, Abuja, on Monday, July 2, 2018, found Tangalu guilty as charged.
Citing Section 352 (5) of the ACJA, 2015 after the court hearing which lasted almost an hour, the Judge said;
“The suspect is hereby convicted on the two counts of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence. He will be sentenced whenever he surrenders himself to the court or he is been arrested”
The EFCC on their own part maintained that the witch doctor, by his action, committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) and punishable under Section 8 (C) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006.
Tangalu was arrested and charged to court on February 22, 2017 following a petition by one Dozie Ugonna that the defendant and his cohorts defrauded him to the tune of N2.5million. According to the petitioner, the money was meant for the purchase of materials to neutralize some harmful charms purportedly contained in a carton filled with US dollars.
Before the judgement, the defendant and his counsel had in the course of trial abandoned the case after several adjournments, forcing the court to order the trial to continue in his absentia.
Wilson Uwujaren who released a statement about the conviction on behalf of the EFCC, said that Justice Mohammed said the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts adding that “all evidence adduced before the court was unchallenged by the defendant and his counsel”.
The judge said, “based on the evidences by the complainant; confession by the suspect; reports by the office of the Directorate of State Services, DSS; and the EFCC; the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts”.