A Court in Manhattan on Thursday sentenced Abdullahi Shuaibu, 53, who worked at the UN in 2013, to two years in prison after an exhaustive plea agreement with the court.
It was a stunning defeat for the prosecutor who had asked that Shuaibu be sentenced to five years under the indictment. Shuaibu pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree; one count of Robbery in the Third Degree, a non-violent offense; and two counts of Grand Larceny, also non-violence offense.
Grand larceny, also known as a grand theft, is the intentional taking of someone’s property or business under illegal conditions. Shuaibu received two years for the one count of Attempted Robbery in the Second Degree and one year for the Robbery in the This Degree and one year for the Grand Larceny to run concurrent with the two years sentence.
Therefore, Shuiabu is expected to be released from jail in about six months, having been arrested on April 18, 2017 for a string of bank robberies in New York.
He was initially charged with robbery in the first degree, where he was facing 15 years in jail, according to his lawyer, Mr Olayinka DanSalami.
However, the prosecutor was unable to sustain that charge before the grand jury, explained his other lawyer, Mr Tim Pruitt, who represented him at arraignment.
During the plea negotiation with the court, the court had offered Shuaibu one year prison term, but the judge changed her mind after the prosecutor submitted to the court a letter purportedly written by Shuaibu to obtain an office in New York.
The defense attorneys had contested the accuracy of the letter and informed the court that the prosecution produced the letter because they were still upset that they were unable to get Shuaibu on a more serious charge.
However, the court refused to re-offer its original offer of one year. Rather than pleading to just one count under the indictment, the prosecutor also insisted that Shuiabu must plead guilty to all the four counts under the indictment.
At that point, his lawyers suggested to him to re-consider his position to plead guilty and go to trial, but Shuaibu was very tired of staying in prison without knowing what going on trial would hold.
DanSalami said he would have preferred a sentence of probation or one year at the most, even though the plea was a good plea in the realm of things.
After the sentencing, Pruitt advised Shuaibu of his right to appeal and one of his paralegals met with Shuiabu to go over the appeal process.