Ex-Revenue Officer Charged By ICPC Bags Three Years Imprisonment Over N4.6m Fraud
A former Revenue Officer with the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, Mrs. Dorothy Chigozie Amalili, has been sentenced to three years in jail for defrauding the hospital of N4.6 million.
Mrs. Amalili, who was jailed by Justice K. Okpe, of the Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, was accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of diverting N4,644.030.00 belonging to the hospital for personal use.
The Commission, in an amended 6 counts, had accused her of knowingly furnishing false statements in respect of money received in order to conceal her actions while performing official duties as a revenue officer.
ICPC Counsel, Enosa Omoghibo, averred before the court that her offences which were committed between February 2017 and December 2018, were contrary to Section 16 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
The suspect, while performing her duties would write the actual amounts collected from patients on the original copy of the receipts, while writing lesser amounts on the duplicate and triplicate copies of the same receipts kept in the Accounts Department for audit purposes, which enabled her to remit a lesser sum of money than the actual amount collected for the hospital, thereby fraudulently retaining the difference. Through this means, she was able to defraud the hospital of N4,644.030, over a period of time.
Justice Okpe, at the conclusion of the trial, found her guilty on all six counts. He, therefore, sentenced her to six months imprisonment for each of the counts which will run concurrently.
ICPC spokesperson, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, in a statement on Wednesday, disclosed that the convict was also given an option of a fine in lieu of custodial sentence by the trial judge for being a Person Living with Disability (PLWD). Her right leg had been amputated due to a diabetic foot ulcer.
The sentencing further includes the convict making a refund of the entire sum that she embezzled to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.
The money will be taken from her Pension Funds domiciled with IBTC Pensions into the ICPC Recovery Account under the TSA as recovery for and on behalf of the hospital.
Similiarly, a Gombe State Secondary School Principal, Mr. Bello Muhammed Abubakar, has been arraigned by the ICPC, over alleged fraudulent activities and other ancillary offences.
The Commission, in two counts brought before Hon Justice Halima S. Muhammed of Gombe State High Court 2 sitting in Gombe, told the court that the accused person had defrauded unsuspecting admission seekers to the tune of the Three Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Two Hundred Naira only (N3,884,200).
The charge reads in part: “That you Bello Muhammed Abubakar (m) between the period of 2009 to 2014 or thereabout at Gombe within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did obtain by false pretense the sum of N3,884,200:00 from unsuspecting admission seekers under the guise of offering them admission into Mukhtar Polytechnic Gombe and Goni Mukhtar College of Education Gombe State.
“And you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.”
ICPC, in a Charge No: GM/128C/2021 averred that Mr. Abubakar had obtained by false pretense the above sum when he illegally operated the following institutions: “Mukhtar Polytechnic, Goni, Mukhtar College of Education, and Goni Mukhtar Linguistic Centre,” all in one block of three classrooms in Gombe State between 2009 and 2015.
Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, informed the court how the school principal was perpetrating the said offence before he was nabbed by operatives of the Commission during an intelligence-led operation.
The Commission has since shut down the said illegal institutions in which the accused person was operating.
The defendant’s actions are contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and Section 1(i) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006.
When the accused person was admitted to take his plea, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him.
Counsel to the accused, Mr. A.B. Ebrany moved a bail application in favour of his client which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.
The trial judge, therefore, granted the accused person bail in the sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) and two sureties in like sum who must be residents within the jurisdiction of the court and must depose to an affidavit of means, failure of which he would be remanded in the Gombe Correctional Centre.
The case has been adjourned to the 29th and 30th of March 2022 for hearing.