Court asks ex-NIMASA DG be returned to Ikoyi Prisons until June 3 | Ripples Nigeria
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Court asks ex-NIMASA DG be returned to Ikoyi Prisons until June 3

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered that a former acting Director General of NIMASA, Calistus Obi, convicted of fraud charges, be remanded in prison custody until June 3 when his matter comes up in court again.

Obj alongside Alu Dismas, was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with eight counts of fraud.

Also charged are two companies, Grand Pact Ltd and Global Seal Investment Ltd.

On May 23, the court had convicted the defendants, after it found them guilty of allegations contained in the charge.

Delivering her judgement, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had first highlighted chronological sequence of proceedings and arguments during the trial.

On Tuesday, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo apprared for the EFCC while Messrs Mobolaji Kuti and Collins Ogbonna appeared for the first to fourth defendants.

Addressing the court, the prosecutor urged that the defendants be punished according to the provisions of the law, by impoising the requisite sentence.

Oyedepo contended that the maximum sentence be imposed by the court, especially as the defendants had allowed the court to go through the rigours of full trial, without bothering to take advantage of the provisions of section 270 of the ACJA.

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“This is a time we must begin to make statements that send signal to public servants and those entrusted with public funds, not to betray the trust imposed on them as the court had found in this case.

“The first and second defendant converted the total sum of N111 million to their personal use, while the first, third, and fourth defendants converted the sum of N114million to their personal use.

“The court has the power to order them to refund the money, and compensate the Agency for the funds already utilised.

“We also urge the court to order a forfeiture to the Federal Government, of the sum of N30 million recovered by the EFCC from the first defendant.”

“Doing this will also send a warning signal to intending members of the public, who want to “dip their hands into public funds,” he said.

In his plea for mercy on behalf of the first convict, his counsel (Kuti) urged the court to temper justice with mercy on the convict as he was a first time offender, with no past criminal records.

He begged for leniency and a non custodian sentence for Dismas.

After listening to respective submissions of counsel, Justice Olatoregun deferred sentence until June 3, and ordered the convicts to be remanded in Ikoyi prison, pending sentence.

By Babatunde Alao…

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