EFCC Re-arrests John Yusuf over N32.8bn Pension Fraud
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have re-arrested a former Assistant Director in the Federal Civil Service, John Yakubu Yusuf, who has been on the run since 2018 after the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, sentenced him to six years imprisonment and a fine of N22.9billion, for conniving with five other suspects to steal N32.8billion Police Pension Fund. Based on his re-arrest, Justice Baba Yusuf of the FCT High Court on Monday, June 22, 2020, issued a remand order that will enable him serve his six years jail term in Kuje Correctional Service, Abuja.
Yusuf is one of the six federal civil servants facing prosecution for allegedly stealing N32.8billion Police Pension Fund. He was initially convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N750, 000 (Seven Hundred Thousand Naira only) by a Federal Capital Territory High Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Talba, in a plea-bargain arrangement. The conviction, considered to be a slap on the wrist, sparked national and international outrage.
The EFCC, dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial court, approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment. Ruling on the substantive matter, the Justices of the Court of Appeal held unanimously that the three counts involving Yusuf (Counts 17, 18 and 19) clearly stated the amounts he converted for his personal use. He pleaded guilty to the three counts and thereby admitted to the conversion of an aggregate sum of about N24billion to his personal use.
The court stressed that the sentence of the trial court, did not serve as deterrence to both the convict and others. Consequently, the justices ruled that the sentence is “hereby quashed and deserves to be reviewed as follows: on Counts 17, the Respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of N20billion Naira; on Counts 18, the Respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of N1.4billion Naira; on counts 19, the Respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of 1.5billion Naira. The sentence of imprisonment is to run consecutively and the fine is to be cumulative.”
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Court Jails Four Internet Fraudsters in Abeokuta
Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday, June 22, 2020, jailed four internet fraudsters for criminal impersonation.
The convicts: Wariz Akintunde; Moses Olamilekan Dosumu, Richard Adegbite and Smith Enitan Adetayo were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal Office.
With all pleading guilty, the judge sentenced Akintunde and Adegbite to four months in prison, with an option of N100,00 each effective from June 22, 2020. Dosumu earned two months jail term with an option of N50,000, while Adetayo was sentenced to five months in prison without an option of fine, effective from June 22, 2020.
The judge further ordered Akintunde, Dosumu and Adetayo to restitute the sums of $700, $375 and N39,000 to their respective victims through the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Simon Ibekwute and Sanusi Galadanchi, prosecuted the matter for the EFCC.
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Court Jails Borno Director for Obstruction of Justice
Justice Aisha Kumaliya of the Borno State High Court, on Monday, June 22, 2020, convicted and sentenced an assistant director in Borno State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Usman Abaji to six months imprisonment for obstruction of justice.
The convict was prosecuted by the Maiduguri Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on one- count charge of willful obstruction of the Commission to exercise its powers to investigate and prosecute in a matter involving one Ibrahim Goni Bama, contrary to Section 38 (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (establishment) Act.
The Commission arrested the said Bama based on investigations that linked him with financial crimes but had to release him on administrative bail to Abaji, who stood as a surety for him.
Upon realizing that Bama has absconded, the Commission alerted Abaji, his surety, who failed to produce him in the Commission despite the ample time, given him to do so.
The one-count charge against the convict read: “That you, Usman Abaji of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Borno State, sometime in October, 2019 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did willfully obstruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in exercise of its power to investigate/prosecute Ibrahim Goni Bama by entering a bond for the sum of N25,000,000 (Twenty Five Million Naira) only to produce him before the EFCC at every date he is required until the six (6) cases against him are finally disposed of; which you failed to do so when called upon by the EFCC. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 38(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under section 38(2)(b) of the same Act.”
Having pleaded guilty to the charge, prosecution counsel, Benjamin Manji prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant.
In his ruling, Justice Kumaliya found Abaji guilty as charged and sentenced him to six month imprisonment with N600, 000 (Six Hundred Thousand Naira) option of fine.
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