Court sentences registrar who stole N80m to four years imprisonment in Abuja
A registrar identified as Joseph Etefia Udoh has been sentenced to four years in prison by a federal high court for stealing the sum of N80 million.
Recall that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) arraigned Udoh and his wife, Grace in December 2019, on a 12-count charge for converting N80 million deposited in the court by a litigant to personal use.
The anti-corruption agency said the convict reportedly issued cheques in the name of his wife, also a staff of the federal high court of justice, Abuja, and used the money to acquire properties in some major cities across Nigeria.
The charges against Udoh was reduced to four counts while all charges against his wife were dropped following a plea bargain between the convict and the ICPC.
Udoh pleaded guilty to all four counts upon re-arraignment on the amended charge.
The prosecution counsel, Shehu Yahaya requested the court to convict and sentence the defendant according to the terms of the plea bargain agreement before the court as provided in section 270(10) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
Udoh’s counsel, Gbenga Ogunniran in a plea of allocutus asked the court to be lenient with the defendant considering the fact that he is the head of his family, responsible for his children’s education and caring for his aged mother.
Delivering judgment, Peter Mallong, the judge, sentenced Udoh to 12 months’ imprisonment on each count. But the sentence will run concurrently from the date of his arraignment, which was on December 12, 2019.
The court also ordered that all properties seized by ICPC during investigation, as listed in the schedule of the plea bargain agreement, be forfeited to the commission, sold and the proceeds given to the victims of the crime.
In addition, the judge said a lien will be placed on the convict’s retirement benefits and/or pension savings in order to pay up any outstanding sum after the sale of the forfeited properties.
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