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Court jails ex-High Court Registrar over N80m fraud

A former Registrar of Federal High Court, Joseph Etefia-Udoh, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for laundering the sum of N80 million .

Mr. Udoh and his wife Grace Udoh were in December 2019 arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, before Hon. Justice P. H. Mallong on twelve-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 labelled against him were amended to four counts and those against his wife dropped.

When Charges were read before the convict, he pleaded guilty to all of them.

The prosecution counsel, Shehu Yahaya, 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.

Counsel to the defendant, Gbenga Ogunniran, concurred with the submission of the prosecution counsel, stating that the convict did not only embarrass himself, but also embarrassed his family.

He, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, especially looking at the fact that the convict is a family man, funding his children’s school and taking care of his aged mother.

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