COURT SENTENCES FORMER MINISTER, SARAH OCHEKPE, 2 OTHERS TO 3 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT
Written by Sarah Osanyinlusi on February 22, 2022
The Federal High Court, Jos Division, on Tuesday, sentenced former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, Evangelist Leo Jitong and former Plateau State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Raymond Dabo to three months imprisonment each.
The three convicted persons have been standing trial for the past four years, on charges bordering on conspiracy and money laundering, amounting to a sum of N450 Million Naira.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Musa Kurya, who handed down the sentence, said Sarah Ochekpe, Evangelist Leo Jitong and Raymond Dabo are guilty as charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to Justice Kurya, they are guilty of withdrawing N450 Million Naira, which is above the limits permitted by law.
He, however, agreed with the defence counsel that it was wrong, not to have brought Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Fidelity Bank, among others, as defendants in the matter, but that he is only concerned with those before him.
Owing to appeals from the defence counsels, Sunday Oyaeole Esq for the 1st defendant, Sarah, and Barrister Zi Esq for the 2nd and 3rd, that the court should show mercy since they are first time offenders, the court sentenced each of the defendants 3 months each, for the two counts.
The court said their imprisonment starts today, Tuesday, but with an option of an N1 million fine.
As at the time of writing this report, the three convicts have been making attempts through their counsels to settle the fine, to avoid their movement to Jos Correctional Centre.