- Convictions of 2 ex- Govs, SAN significant – Spokesman
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that it has secured 139 convictions between January and June 2018.
A top source in the commission, who confided in The Daily Times on Monday, also stated that the new figure is an improvement of the 89 convictions recorded in May.
The source added that the EFCC has remained consistent in its efforts to change the infamous narrative of pervasive corruption in the system.
He added that the convictions came from Abuja and its zonal formations in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Benin, Ibadan, Enugu, Uyo, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe and Maiduguri.
The source, who spoke in confidence, added that many ongoing corruption cases are being prosecuted by the EFCC nationwide.
According to him, the agency will ensure that the cases are pursued to a logical conclusion, saying that the agency is determined to surpass the 189 convictions in 2017.
Speaking on the development, the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said the convictions of two former governors and former Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and others were significant.
He said, “The 139 convictions, which is an improvement of the 89 convictions recorded in May, is indeed, significant in many respects, particularly, as it includes the conviction of two Political Exposed Persons (PEPs) – Jolly Nyame, a former governor of Taraba and Joshua Dariye, a serving Senator and a former governor of Plateau, who both are currently serving their 14-year jail sentence for criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds, and receiving gratification.
“Indeed, the EFCC has remained consistent in its efforts of effectively changing the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system, and altering the general perception that there are some people who are above the Law.
“Suffice to state, that the record of convictions, also includes that of a former Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joseph Nwobike, who was convicted for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
“At the moment, several of such corruption cases are being prosecuted by the EFCC across the country, which the anti-graft agency is determined to prosecute to a logical conclusion.
He also noted that the agency is determined not to rest on its oars, as it is poised to surpass the 189 convictions secured in 2017.
It is instructive to note that the commission secured 189 convictions between January and December, 2017.
The Daily Times recalls that Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, had on May 30 sentenced former Taraba State Governor Jolly Nyame to 14 years imprisonment for criminal breach of trust, two years for criminal misappropriation, seven years for gratification and five years for obtaining by dishonesty, without option of fine.
Nyame was found guilty of 27 out of 41 counts of alleged diversion of public funds while he served as governor of Taraba State.
He was prosecuted by the EFCC for diverting N1.64 billion while he served as governor between 1999 to 2007.
Few weeks after Nyame was convicted for fraud, the same Justice Banjoko also found former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye guilty of monumental fraud.
The erstwhile governor was charged for diverting about N1.2 billion while he held sway as the number one citizen of the North Central State.
Dariye was brought to court on a 23-count charge by the EFCC in 2007.
Also, a senior lawyer, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, was convicted of criminal charges on April 30, 2018 by Justice Raliat Adebiyi, of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
But the judge found the lawyer not guilty on offences of offering gratification to a judicial officer and making false declaration to an officer of the EFCC.
Nwobike was subsequently sentenced to a month imprisonment for the offence. Although he had served his one month term in prison, the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) last month stripped him of his silk title.
The anti-graft agency on Friday, May 18, 2018 also secured the conviction of a former Deputy Chief Registrar of the Oyo State High Court, Mutiat Adio.
Justice O. M. Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan found Adio guilty on one out of a two count charge brought against her. The count which earned the convict a jail term borders on the allegation of obtaining N9.2 million by false pretence from one Abiodun Olonade, a Nigerian resident in Ireland.
Adio was sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine. The court also ordered that the convict to return the said N9.2 million to the victim.