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Ex-perm sec, Illoh, jailed five years for N14m fraud

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Photo; VOA


Former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh, has been jailed five years by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, for N14.1 million fraud.
Spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, stated this yesterday in Abuja.

Illoh was arraigned on October 16, 2017 by the EFCC on a three-count charge of stealing by conversion of property and concealment to the tune N14.1 million.

The former permanent secretary, who was supervising numerous programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself and his friends, using his company.He pleaded not guilty to the charge, setting the stage for his trial.

The prosecution had on March 7, 2018, closed its case against the defendant, following the cross-examination of the fourth prosecution witness, Theresa Braimoh, a retired director in Productivity, Measurement and Labour Standard.

Counsel to the defendant, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), had, however, urged the court to strike out the case on the ground that the prosecution could not establish a prima facie case against his client. But the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the prayer of the defence counsel amounted to contesting the obvious.

“The evidences of the four prosecution witnesses and the legally admissible evidences marked and admitted as exhibits A to F are enough to link the defendant to the charges preferred against him by the EFCC,” Oyedepo had argued.

Oyedepo further told the court that the defendant transferred public funds to the tune of N14.176 million from the coffers of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to the account of his company, Clement and Bob Associate, for personal use, instead of retiring the money to NIMASA.

Delivering her judgement yesterday, Justice Taiwo held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. The judge held that “the defendant’s action is in gross violation of the financial regulation, and it shows that the defendant failed to abide by the laid-down procedures.”

Consequently, Justice Taiwo convicted him on counts one and two and sentenced him five years without an option of fine.

While discharging Illoh on count three because he did not conceal stolen funds, the judge ordered him to make a restitution of the total sum less the N3.5 million recovered from him during investigation.The money is to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.


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