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Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! - Politics - Nairaland

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Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! by rodeo0070(m): 5:21am On Jan 29, 2013
Surprise pervaded a Federal Capital
Territory High Court, Abuja on Monday
when a director of the Police Pension
Office, Mr. John Yusuf, was handed
down only a two-year jail sentence for
conniving with others to defraud the
office and pensioners of N27.2bn.
Yusuf admitted to stealing N2bn of the
money.
But he would not spend the two years
in jail as Justice Abubakar Talba gave
him an option of fine in the sum of
N750,000 for the three offences he
pleaded guilty to.
Each of the three offences attracts a
two-year jail term.
The sentences run cuncurrently.
Yusuf, who by his sentence becomes
the first to be jailed in the ongoing trial of persons involved in the N38.8bn Police pension scam, will however forfeit 32 houses in the FCT and Gombe as well as N325m which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said were proceeds from the crime.
Many in the courtroom openly
expressed their amazement with
Talba’s judgment.
The exchanges among the gathering,
which included lawyers, journalists,
relatives of all the accused persons and observers, were loud enough for the court clerk to call everybody to order.
The lenient nature of the sentence was
underscored by the reaction of Yusuf’s
lawyer, Maiyaki Bala, who said his client was ready to pay the fine immediately after the sentencing.
With EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs
(SAN), noticeably close to tears, Bala
told journalists that they intended to
take up the option of fine immediately.
There were indications that Yusuf, who
appeared calm and confident in a light
green kaftan with a matching green
cap, made the payment before leaving
the premises of the court, located in
Gudu.
Although his bank accounts were
reportedly frozen by the order of the
court, it seemed he was still able to
raise money – perhaps through friends
and relatives – as it was gathered that
he was issued with a Revenue Collector’s Receipt before he left the
court premises.
The convict, who had been on bail
before he was sentenced, was driven
away in his personal car.
Before Talba read the judgment, the
embattled director had made a U-turn
on his earlier not guilty plea by
admitting that he committed three
offences.
Yusuf specifically pleaded guilty to
counts 18, 19 and 20, where he was
alleged to have connived with the other suspects –Essai Dangabar, Atiku Kigo, Ahmed Wada, Veronica Ulonma, Sani Zira, Uzoma Attang and Christian
Madubuike – to convert the sums of
N24.2bn, N1.3bn and N1.7bn,
belonging to the office to their personal use.
Yusuf’s sentencing came after he
pleaded guilty to betraying trust and
fraudulently converting N2bn of police
pension funds to private use. The trial
continues for the other accused.
He admitted to the 19th and 20th
offences relating specifically to him,
each involving betrayal of trust and the conversion of N1bn apiece. The
maximum penalty for the offence is two years.
Attang and Madubuike were added in
an amended 20-count.
Attang is still in service as Director of
Finance and Accounts in the Ministry of Communications. He was a director in the PPO between 2007 and 2008.
The trial of the other accused persons
was adjourned till February 26, 2013.
Their action is punishable under section
309 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532,
Laws of the Federal Capital Territory,
Abuja, Nigeria 2007.
Yusuf’s guilty plea had apparently
taken the courtroom by surprise, but
immediately after, Jacobs asked the
court to convict and sentence him.
He also made an application for the
forfeiture of 13 houses and the N325m.
“We urge you to take into account these properties and the money, so that the court can make an order that the proceeds from the sales of the
properties should go back to the Police
Pension Office for the payment of the
entitlements of legitimate pensioners,” Jacobs said.
Bala, also moved immediately by
pleading for a lenient sentence.
He said that his client had shown
remorse for the offences.
Bala said, “By pleading guilty, the
convict has shown respect to this court and has saved the precious time of the court.
“The court will also find out that he is a first time offender without any previous record of conviction; furthermore, he is the head of a family of four, a wife and three children, two of who are university students while one is a primary school pupil.
“These people depend on him for their
survival and wellbeing, including the
payment of school fees.
“It is also pertinent to note that he has
a chronic heart condition which has
aggravated to a serious case of high
blood pressure, a condition that
requires frequent medical attention.
“His aged parents are still alive and due to old age, have attendant medical complications which require regular medical attention and both depend on him to deal with these.”
Bala added that Yusuf was a community leader with a number of students depending on him for scholarship.
He noted that the students would lose
the opportunity if justice was not
tempered with mercy.
The counsel added that should the
court grant the application for forfeiture of his client’s assets, the EFCC would take everything from him (Yusuf) .
He urged the court to exercise its
discretionary powers granted it under
section 309 of the Penal Code in favour of the convict and give him an option of fine.
Bala argued that doing so would
encourage the other accused persons to admit their guilt, where it exists.
Pronouncing sentence on the convict,
Talba said he had taken favourable note of the fact that Yusuf was a first time offender, and had also opted on his own volition to plead guilty, thereby saving the time of the court.
But he stressed that the court also had
a duty to the country, which had
suffered from corruption.
He held that section 309 of the Penal
Code, under which the accused persons were charged, stipulates a two-year prison term with an option of fine or both.
Consequently, he sentenced Yusuf to
two years’ imprisonment for each of the three counts or a fine of N250,000.
Among the properties are two units of a three-bedroom semi detached
bungalows at R2, A and B, Sunny
Homes, Dakwo District, Abuja; two
units of three bedroom semi bungalow-detached at M24, A and B, Sunny homes, Dakwo District Abuja; four units of a 3bedroom semi- detached bungalows, in Abuja; eight units of an Estate of two-bedroom flats, at Gombe, GRA; one unit Semi-detached Duplex at house 21, 4th Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja; four units of a two bedroom semi– detached duplex at Bricks City, Kubwa Road, Abuja and one unit of Semi-Detached Duplex, at 14B Democracy Crescent, Gaduwa, Abuja.
A displeased Jacobs protested the
option of fine given to the convict,
noting that it mocked the anti corruption campaign of the Goodluck
Jonathan administration.
In a statement later on Monday, the
EFCC condemned the judgment.
The commission said it would study the judgment and respond appropriately.
Parts of the statement signed by its
spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwajaren,
reads, “The EFCC has expressed
reservation about the ruling of an FCT
High Court, Abuja which handed a six-
year-jail term with the option of N750,
000 fine to John Yakubu Yusufu, one of
the persons standing trial in the
N32.8bn Police Pension scam.
“Justice Mohammed Talba convicted
and sentenced Yusufu to two years’
imprisonment with the option of N250,
000 fine on three of an amended 20-
count.
“The commission is of the view that the option of fine runs contrary to the
understanding between the prosecution and the defence wherein the convict consented to a custodial sentence with the forfeiture of all assets and money that are proceeds of the crime.”

SOURCE: www.punchng.com/news/nigerian-wonder-n27bn-pension-thief-gets-n750000-fine/
Re: Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! by rodeo0070(m): 5:25am On Jan 29, 2013
Mr. John Yusuf (Pension Thief)...

Re: Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! by Coldfaya(m): 6:50am On Jan 29, 2013
Like they say;' 'Only in Nigeria'. So I can loot billions and forfit only some properties and a few millions as bail. Issokey. #we d youths are learning#
Re: Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! by nedu2000(m): 6:57am On Jan 29, 2013
& we talk of peace......when there is И̣̣̣̥o justice,rubbish!!
Re: Nigerian Wonder: N27bn Pension Thief Gets N750,000 Fine!!! by OAM4J: 10:30am On Jan 29, 2013

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