Police Pension Thief: Group Fulminate Against EFCC, Nigeria Prisons
It is regrettable that over one a year after the judgment of the court of Appeal, the convict is yet to begin serving his prison term as the two Federal Government agencies—EFCC & Nigeria Prisons are currently in a loggerhead over whose function it is to execute the judgment.
A good governance, human Rights and Social justice advocacy group, Youth Advocates For Peace Justice And Empowerment Network (YAPJEN) has lambasted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and the Nigeria Prison Service [NPS] over the horse trading on which government agencies should ensure that the convicted former Assistant Director in the Federal Civil Service, Yakubu John Yusuf is serving his jail term in the Nation’s prison.
In a press release made available to newsmen in Awka, Anambra State, Amb. Timothy Nwachukwu, Chairman, board of trustees, Youth Advocates for Peace Justice and Empowerment Network (YAPJEN) fulminated against the EFCC and NPS for setting a negative precedent, a show of Shame which is an attestation to the unseriousness of the anti-graft Agencies fight against corruption and corrupt elements in the country.
According to the Model United Nations Ambassador, “It is appalling that Yakubu John Yusuf who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to jail by a federal high court and his Conviction upheld by a court of appeal is nowhere near prison one year after his conviction”.
It will be recalled that Yakubu John Yusuf, the pension thief whose conviction triggered national outrage five years ago, after he was given a slap on the wrist by Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court who sentenced him to two years in jail, with the option of paying a fine of N750,000 for stealing N32.8 billion police pension money.
In an appeal brought by EFCC, the court of Appeal held that the sentence of the trial court did not serve as deterrent to the convict and others and, therefore, ruled that the sentence was “hereby quashed and deserves to be reviewed as follows: on Counts 17, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of N20 billion.
“On Counts 18, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of 1.4 billion.
“On counts 19, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of 1.5 billion.”
The Appeal Court ordered, that the sentence was to run concurrently and the fine was to be cumulative.
It is regrettable that over one a year after the judgment of the court of Appeal, the convict is yet to begin serving his prison term as the two Federal Government agencies are currently in a loggerhead over whose function it is to execute the judgment.
While the spokesman of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Francis Enobore, was quoted to have said that it was the duty of the prosecuting agency, with powers of arrest, to ensure that a person against whom it secured conviction and sentence is delivered to the prison authorities, along with the decision of the court, the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, stated that, “If there is any question(s) on the whereabouts of the convict, it should not be directed at the EFCC but the relevant agency that should take custody of Yusuf,” Orilade said.
Amb Timothy Nwachukwu stated that the recent developments as to the where about of the convict is a bad omen for the two Federal agencies which has turned Nigeria into laughing stock where those who have connections in high places can commit crime and go away with it while the poor and Voiceless are made to suffer and rot in jail l for lesser offences.
YAPJEN therefore demands that President Muhammadu Buhari redeems the image of his administration by proving to Nigerians that his Government is not paying lip service to the fight against corruption by ensuring that those behind the lame excuse of letting the pension thief off the hook are brought to book.
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