Home africa Court jails ex- Registrar over N80million fraud

Court jails ex- Registrar over N80million fraud

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Court jails ex- Registrar over N80million fraud


By Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

A Federal High Court in Kaduna has jailed its former Registrar, Mr. Joseph Udoh, for four years for embezzling N80million deposited in the court by a litigant.

The court also ordered all assets seized from the convict be forfeited and sold by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to recover the looted cash.

The court placed a lien on the convict’s retirement benefits and/or pension savings for any balance still outstanding against him.

Details of the conviction were contained in a statement by the Spokesperson for ICPC, Mrs. Azuka C. Ogugua.

The statement said: Mr. Udoh and his wife Grace Udoh were in December 2019 arraigned by ICPC before Hon. Justice P. H. Mallong on a 12-count charge for alleged misappropriation of N80m that had been deposited in the court by a litigant.

“The convict reportedly issued cheques in the name of his wife, also a staff of the Federal High Court of Justice, Abuja, and used the money to acquire properties in some major cities across Nigeria.

“Based on a plea bargain agreement entered with the convict, the charges labeled against him were amended to four counts and those against his wife dropped.”

The statement said Udoh admitted that he committed the fraud

“When the charges were read before the convict, he pleaded guilty to all of them.”

The statement added: “The prosecution counsel, Shehu Yahaya fsi, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendant according to the terms of the plea bargain agreement before the court as provided in section 270(10) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

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“The Counsel to the defendant, Gbenga Ogunniran, Esq concurred with the submission of the prosecution counsel.

“He said the convict did not only embarrass himself but also embarrassed his family. He pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, especially looking at the fact that a convict is a family man, funding his children’s school and taking care of his aged mother.

“The presiding Judge, Justice Mallong, while delivering judgment committed Udoh to 12 months imprisonment on each count but to run concurrently from the date of his arraignment, which was from 12th December 2019.

“The court also ruled that all properties seized by ICPC in the course of the investigation, as listed in the schedule of the plea bargain agreement be forfeited to the Commission, and be sold with the proceeds given to the victims of the crime.

“In addition, a lien would be placed on the convict’s retirement benefits and/or pension savings for any balance still outstanding against the defendant after the sale of the forfeited properties.

“And in the event of any outstanding sum, and balance payment by the convict remains unpaid, the same is to be paid by installments as agreed by the complainant and the convict in accordance with section 429 of the ACJA, 2015.”



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