N450m Diezani bribe: Court jails ex-minister, Sarah Ochekpe, 2 others

To spend 6 yrs in prison

The Federal High Court sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, has sentenced a former Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and two others, to three months imprisonment over N450million fraud.

The court also sentenced a former chairman of the People Democratic Party, (PDP), in Plateau State, Raymond Dabo and one Leo Jitung, to three months imprisonment each with an option of fine.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged the trio in 2018 over conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450m.

Justice Musa Kurna, while delivering judgment, gave the trio an option to pay a fine of N1m each. Ochekpe, Dabo and Jitung had entered a plea of no-case submission.

While sentencing them, the judge held that after withdrawing the said amount from the bank, they did not withhold the money to themselves but delivered same to a governorship candidate, as such were not guilty of retaining the sum for themselves.

Kurna, however, said they were guilty of withdrawing the N450 million, which he said was above the threshold of an individual withdrawal, saying their action contravened the provisions of Section 16(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2013 as amended, an offence which carries a minimum of three years imprisonment, or a N10 million fine.

The judge, however, in his discretion, sentenced them to three months’ imprisonment each, or an option of N1million each.

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