A High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday sentenced a staff of the Kuje Correctional Centre, Ahmed Abdu, to a four-year jail term for defrauding job seekers of N1.5 million.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Abdu was arraigned before Justice Abubakar Kutigi after he was caught collecting N250,000 from each of his six victims with the promise that he would secure employment for them at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerian Correctional Service.
The convict, according to the statement, also signed an undertaking to refund the money if he failed to get job placement for them.
The statement read: “Abdu was charged before the court in 2014 by the commission for defrauding one Adamu Abubakar of N250, 000.
“He was also said to have collected the same amount from five other persons to get them employed into any of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerian Correctional Service, and signed an undertaking to refund the money if he failed to deliver.”
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The ICPC said in the two- count charge preferred against the convict, the court heard that he used his position as a public officer to deceive his victims into paying money for jobs that did not exist.
The actions, ICPC claimed, contravened Section 10 (a) (ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.
The statement added: “Prior to the sentencing, Abdu who was not represented by a counsel, pleaded with the court to be lenient with him, adding that he was a first-time offender as well as being the first child of his family with a very large number of dependants.
“Counsel for ICPC, Ngozi Onwuka, in her submission, prayed the court to direct Abdu to make restitution by refunding the money he collected from other victims to them. Justice Kutigi, in his ruling, said that even though the court was mindful of Abdu’s plea for leniency, he was only allowed to apply the dictates of the extant laws upon which he was charged.
“He said the facts before the court had shown a consistent trait of the convict using his position as a public officer to lure unsuspecting job seekers to pay for non-existent jobs.”
“He also lamented that the crime committed by Abdu had become widespread in the country, adding that the court’s aim was to deter others that may have his kind of mindset from committing crimes. He, therefore, sentenced him to four years imprisonment; two years on each count to run concurrently with no option of fine.”
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