Two Chinese nationals get three years imprisonment for corruption in Sokoto
The Court of Appeal in Sokoto State has sentenced two Chinese men, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuai to three years imprisonment for corruption.
Justice Abubakar Mahmud Talba on Friday convicted and sentenced the two Chinese nationals to jail for each of the three-count charge for offences of conspiracy, money laundering and attempted bribery to the tune of 50million naira.
The convicts were said to have offered a N50 million bribe to officials of the Sokoto Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court however, discharged and acquitted them of the said charges which necessitated an appeal by the anti-graft agency.
Delivering the unanimous judgment, Justice Talba berated the respondents that tried to frustrate the appeal through maneuverings.
He stated that “gone are the days of technicalities in law”. He further emphasised that going forward, courts must allow cases to be heard on its merits.
Justice Talba also charged the respondents with Conspiracy and making a cash payment over the threshold provided by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended in 2012 to Abdullahi Lawal (then zonal head of EFCC Sokoto) which was established beyond a reasonable doubt before the lower Court.
“I regret to say that the judgment is like a fiction by the trial judge who created doubts in his mind while discharging his responsibilities,” Justice Talba said.
“Without doubt the trial judge grossly misconceived that no offence was committed.”
He noted that conspiracy was a distinct offence even if the commission of the actual offence was aborted.
“And in the instant case, there exists positive cogent inescapable evidence the offence was committed.”
Justice Talba also held that the appeal was immensely meritorious, thus convicted and sentenced the Chinese nationals to three years on each of the two Counts with an option of N10 Million fine each on each count.
“Before I draw the curtain, the respondents are Chinese and an offence of this gravity in their home country attracts the death penalty yet here they are corrupting our Country.
“The Courts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not condone corruption in any way; as President Muhammadu Buhari has said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”