Appeal Court Sentences Senator Nwaoboshi To Seven Years Imprisonment For Money Laundering

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

 

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal today July 1, 2022 convicted and sentenced Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, to 7 years imprisonment.

The Appeal Court also ordered that his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

This ruling followed the success of the appeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021 2018 discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two count charge of fraud and money laundering.

EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million. Part of the money paid to the vendor, precisely a sum of N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd , was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.

But in his judgment, Justice Aneke held that the prosecution failed to call vital witnesses and tender concrete evidence to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the defendants.


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A statement by EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that Justice Aneke was of the opinion that the evidence of PW2 “proved the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank for purchase of additional equipment and as provision of working capital.

“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third. Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the judge said.

He claimed a fatal blow was dealt the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10”.

Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants.

However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal today, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents. It said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged.

N25.7bn Fraud: Appeal Court Upholds Conviction Of Ex-Bank PHB MD, Francis Atuche

Francis Atuche and his wife were in court on September 28, 2017.

 

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division has upheld the conviction of a former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Francis Atuche, for a N25.7bn fraud.

The court also upheld the conviction of Atuche’s accomplice and co-convict, Ugo Anyanwu, who was the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer.

An abridged decision of the court to this effect was read by Justice Sadiq Umar. The other justices on the panel are Justice Adebukola Banjoko and Justice Kayode Bada.

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The 3 man panel in their decision also upheld in part, the June 16, 2021 judgment of Justice Lateefah Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

They also upheld the discharge and acquittal of Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth.

The EFCC had in 2011 arraigned the defendants before Justice Lateefah Okunnu over a N25.7b fraud.

But Atuche and the co-defendants approached the Court of Appeal after about three years, to challenge their trial by the lower court for lack of jurisdiction.

In a judgment delivered in September 2016, the court ordered Justice Okunnu to hand off the trial but did not quash the charge against the defendants.

The EFCC then approached the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the appellate court and order a trial in the matter.

After listening to the EFCC’s counsel, the apex court directed that the case be returned to Justice Okunnu for the continuation of trial.

Atuche and his wife returned to Justice Okunnu with Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Kemi Pinheiro prosecuting the case on behalf of the EFCC with the fiat of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

In his submissions before the court, Pinheiro opposed Atuche’s contention that the funds in dispute were loaned, not stolen.

Justice Okunnu agreed with Pinheiro and held that since the money belonged to the bank, it was capable of being stolen.

“The first and third defendants did not debunk the evidence of the prosecution that the loans were used to purchase shares. They rather contended that the monies granted as the loan could be used for whatever purposes,” Okunnu stated.

She subsequently sentenced Atuche and Anyanwu, while Atuche’s wife was acquitted.

Following the June 16, 2021 sentence, the appellants challenged their conviction and asked the appellate court to set aside the decision of the lower court.

The appeal was heard in April, following which the court adjourned till today, Thursday for judgment.

Five Jailed In Ibadan For Impersonation

 

The Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, June 6, 2022, secured the conviction of five internet fraudsters.

Those convicted include: Muhaymin Adeshola Ajayi (a.k.a Lena Paul), Emmanuel Oluwafemi Shoyinka (a.k.a Mabel Mates), Sherriffdeen Ololade Qozeen Abdulrahman Olakanmi Babatunde and Abiodun Tolulope Emmanuel.

They were arraigned for fraudulent impersonation before Justice Uche Agomoh of the Federal High Court, Ibadan and Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan .

They all pleaded guilty to their respective one-count charges.

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In view of their pleas, Justice Agomoh convicted and sentenced Abiodun to nine months imprisonment and Abdulrahman, six months imprisonment. Sherriffdeen and Shoyinka bagged six months and three months community service, respectively.

The court also ordered the defendants to restitute their victims.

Shoyinka is to restitute his victim the sum of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand) and ordered to forfeit Samsung S9 Plus mobile phone, one Bontel mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria,

Sherriffdeen was ordered to restitute to his victims the total sum of $1,400USD (One Thousand and Four Hundred United States Dollars) through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He is to forfeit one iPhone 12 Pro Max mobile phone to the Federal Government of Nigeria, being proceeds of his crime.

Ajayi was ordered to restitute the sum of $2,500USD (Two Thousand United State Dollars) only to his victim- one Matthew Kopilash, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. In addition, he was ordered to forfeit one iPhone 12 Pro Max and one Toyota Camry Saloon car to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Abdulrahman is to restitute his victim the sum of $1,500USD (One Thousand United States Dollars) and Bitcoin worth 0.01551288 through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The convict also is to forfeit one MacBook Pro, one iPhone 12 Pro Max, one Samsung 4iWatch, one Play Station 5, one 55 inches Samsung television, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Abiodun was ordered to restitute the sum of $500USD (Five Hundred United States Dollars) and balance the sum N497, 071:12 (Four Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand, Seventy One Naira and Twelve kobo) to his victim and forfeits his iPhone 11 mobile phone, one Samsung Galaxy Note 10mobile phone, one iWatch Series 5 and one red Toyota Avalon car to Federal Government of Nigeria.

Nearly $700m Stolen From Iraq State Banks – Graft Body

CBN Plans $100m Sale At Special Auction
US dollar notes.

 

Nearly $700 million in public funds has been misappropriated from state-run banks in Iraq in a scandal implicating more than 40 people, an anti-corruption commission said Thursday, after a three-year probe.

A total of 926 billion Iraqi dinars ($697 million) went missing due to “forgery, embezzlement, manipulation, money laundering (and) abuse of position”, the Commission for Integrity said in a statement.

The alleged fraud took place at a branch of Maysan province’s agricultural bank, as well as four branches of Rasheed Bank in Maysan and the capital Baghdad, the commission said.

The commission did not specify the timeframe of the offences, but a commission official, who did not want to be named, said investigations into suspected illegal activity began in 2019.

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“Arrest warrants will be issued against 41 people suspected” of wrongdoing over the affair, the official added.

The commission said bank employees and even customers were among those implicated in a scandal that amounts to a “process of organised sabotage against the national economy”.

Corruption plagues all levels of the Iraqi state, but middle managers, rather than top officials, tend to bear the brunt of anti-graft campaigns.

Official figures published last year estimated that well over 400 billion dollars has gone missing from state coffers in the near two decades since dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

The country ranks 157 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.

Major anti-regime protests in late 2019 were spurred in large part by anger over corruption and the related dilapidation of public services.

AFP

Ex-Algeria Footballer Madjer Jailed For Fraud


Algerian football legend Rabah Madjer, new national coach of Soccer, attends host a conference at the Sidi-Moussa National Technical Center in Algiers, Algeria on 19 October 2017. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto) Billal Bensalem / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

 

An Algerian court sentenced Algerian football star and ex-Porto striker Rabah Madjer to six months in jail on Thursday for making “false declarations”, local media reported.

Madjer, who owned two newspapers, was found to have continued to bank cheques from a public advertising agency for a year after the papers were closed.

He told AFP he had solicitor’s documents proving he had nothing to do with the case and added that he would appeal.

“All I want to say is that I have nothing whatsoever to do with this business. I’m innocent,” he said by phone.

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Charges of forgery and fraud were dropped.

But the 63-year-old and a co-defendant named as Brahim M. were jailed and ordered to pay 500,000 dinars ($3,435 or 3,200 euros) to the national publishing and advertising agency (ANEP).

The Algerian famously scored for Porto against Bayern Munich in the 1987 European Cup final with an audacious back-heel — a move later named after him.

He also scored a crucial goal in a 2-1 victory against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup.

He later went on to coach Algeria’s national football team, but after eight months in the job, he was sacked in June 2018 after a string of defeats.

AFP

Internet Fraudster Bags One Year Imprisonment In Port Harcourt

 

Justice E. A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Obu Gabriel Ebibo to one year imprisonment for impersonation and obtaining money by false pretense.

He was convicted on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 after pleading ‘guilty’ to two -count charges preferred against him, upon being arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

One of the charges read: “That you Obu Gabriel Ebibo (alias Kenneth Gibson) on or about the 1st November, 2021, in Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained an aggregate sum of Six Hundred and Eighty United States Dollars ($680.00 USD) on the pretence that, the money was meant for crypto currency investment, a pretext you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

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He pleaded “guilty” to the charges when they were read to him. In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, F .O. Amama prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly. Counsel to the defendant, B .J. Jeoffrey, however, urged the court to temper justice with mercy stressing that, “he is a first- time offender who does not have previous criminal records”.

Justice Obile convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) payable into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Judge also ordered that the iPhone X mobile phone recovered from the convict be forfeited to the government.

Ebibo’s journey to the Correctional Service started when he was arrested by operatives of the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Command of the EFCC in connection with internet-related offences. Investigation showed that the convict had been involved in internet fraud by falsely presenting himself as one Kenneth Gibson to his victims, thereby defrauding them of the sum of Six Hundred and Eighty United States Dollars ($680.00 USD).

Alleged N6.2bn Fraud: EFCC Closes Case Against Ex-Governor Jang

Jang Replies EFCC, Denies Ownership Of Kaduna Property
(File) Former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday closed its case in the alleged N6.2 billion fraud against the former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.

Jang and Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (OSSG), are being prosecuted before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos.

They are facing trial for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of Plateau State funds to the tune of N6.2 billion.

At the last sitting, the EFCC had presented its fourteenth witness (PW14), a Chief Superintendent of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC),  Taiwo Oloronyomi, who testified against the defendants.

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While tendering the statement in evidence, the second defendant’s counsel, S. Olawale, raised an objection, arguing that the statement of his client to the ICPC was not voluntary as he was subjected to physical and psychological torture by one Hajiya Fatima Mohammed of the ICPC. This prompted the court to order a trial within trial.

Ruling on the trial within a trial on Tuesday, Justice Dabup admitted in evidence the statement that the second defendant made on November 17, 2016, to the ICPC. The crux of the statement pertained to the withdrawal of monies through cheques approved by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State government, which was taken to the first defendant (Jang).

The judge, however,  rejected the statement made on November 23, 2016, saying that the mandatory cautionary word was not taken before the second defendant volunteered to write his statement.

After the prosecution closed its case, the defendants were expected to open their defence on  June 1, 2022. However, their counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and S. Olewale informed the court of their decision not to do so.

“We humbly intend to rely on the case of the prosecution because we believe and submit it is irredeemable, battered and drained of existential blood. We do not need to open any case for evidence in order not to waste the precious time of this honourable court,” Ozekhome said.

Citing section 301(3) of the Plateau State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018, he said: “If we are not providing any evidence, the law says that the prosecution has fourteen (14) days to address the court, and ten( 10) days for the defence to reply, and another five (5 days)  for the prosecution to reply on point of law”.

Thereafter, the judge adjourned the matter to July 1 for the adoption of final written addresses.

Alleged N270m Fraud: Bank Gives Fake General’s Real Names As Hassan Ayinde

The EFCC on January 13, 2022, said it had arrested one Bolarinwa Oluwasegun who was allegedly posing as an Army-General.

 

A compliance officer with First Bank Plc, Chris Ekpe, has told a Lagos Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja that the real name of the alleged fake Army General is Hassan Kareem Ayinde.

While testifying before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the compliance officer also narrated how the alleged fake army General, known as Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, perfected his change of name before swindling a businessman to the tune of N270 million.

The witness, while being led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), confirmed to the court that his bank received a notary publication dated December 20, 2016, with a letter of change of account name from the defendant on February 2, 2017.

He noted that the bank thereafter changed the account name from Hassan Kareem Ayinde to Olusegun Abiodun Bolarinwa.

When asked about the account balance of the defendant as of the time of the change of account name, the witness revealed that it was N1,319.04.

Giving evidence further, the First Bank Compliance Officer revealed how huge sums started coming into the defendant’s account from the complainant’s account domiciled in UBA and how it was utilised for various personal needs ranging from debit alerts of boutiques and ATM withdrawals.

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The prosecutor subsequently tendered the EFCC’s letter of request sent to the bank, Certificate of Compliance and Identification, the bank’s response letter, and the account records of the defendants.

The documents were admitted in evidence as exhibits following no opposition from the defendant’s counsel, Kayode Lawal.

The court also listened to the testimony of another bank staff, a United Bank of Africa (UBA) Relationship Manager, Emmanuel Emaikwo. He also tendered documents to back up his oral testimony before the court.

After this, the prosecutor, Oyedepo asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to bring the Investigating Officer and a representative of the Nigeria Army to testify before the court.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned till Friday, the 6th of May for a continuation of the trial.

The alleged fake Army General was charged by the EFCC on a 13-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery of documents, and possession of documents containing false pretence values of N266,500,000.

He was arraigned on April 11, 2022, on offences contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006; Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006, respectively.

According to the charge: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, between 15th June 2020 and 31st December 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and whilst holding yourself out as a General in the Nigerian Army, obtained the sum of N111,400,000 from a company under the pretence that the sum represented part of the amount expended to “press and process” your incoming appointment by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, as the CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF of the Nigerian Army, which pretence you knew to be false”.

The charge further reads: “Bolarinwa Oluwasegun Abiodun, sometime in May 2020 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged LETTER OF APPOINTMENT AS CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF dated 20th May 2020 and purported the said document to have emanated from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which document you know to be false”.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Police Bust Fraud Syndicate In Katsina

Katsina State is in northwest Nigeria.

 

The Katsina State Police Command has busted a syndicate of fraudsters who specialise in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Katsina State Command, SP Gambo Isah, issued on Wednesday, the operation was based on a tip-off and the command succeeded in arresting the trio of Abdullahi Mohd Shaba, Micheal Odoba Ochi, of Kuje quarters, Abuja, D. Mydox resources investment ltd and Earnest Omachunu, of Barnawa Quarters, Kaduna suspected members of a syndicate of fraudsters.

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They were said to have conspired among themselves and fraudulently swindled one Alh Lawal Mani, of Dangoro Quarters, Katsina, of the sum of N13,500,000 under the pretext of supplying him with AGO fuel.

In the course of the investigation, the victim stated that he was lured by the suspects to deposit the money in two different accounts; one belonging to one Alh. Abdullahi Mohd Shaba and the second belonging to one Mydox Resource Investiment LTD.

In the course of the interrogation, the suspects confessed to committing the offence.

According to SP Isah, efforts are on course to arrest other members of the syndicate who are at large.

CBN Warns Nigerians To Avoid Dealing With Illegal, Unlicensed Financial Operators

File photo of wads of cash used to illustrate the story.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians to avoid dealing with illegal and unlicensed financial operators who lure and defraud members of the public.

The Apex Bank in a statement on Monday said the increase in the activities of Illegal Financial Operators (IFOs) is becoming worrisome and portends a grave risk to public confidence and the stability of the Nigerian Financial System.

“The FSRCC wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the worrisome increase in the activities of the Illegal Financial Operators (IFOs) which portends grave risk to public confidence and the stability of the Nigerian Financial System.

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“The FSRCC in its continuing efforts to end the scourge of IFOs in Nigeria hereby issues the following advisory:

“The general public is advised to refrain from dealing with unlicensed or illegal financial operators, who lure and defraud unsuspecting members of the public by offering extra-ordinary returns on investments as bait,” the statement which was signed by the Secretary, Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee, read in part.

CBN, therefore advised members of the public to visit its official website and that of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other relevant member agencies of the FSRCC to verify the registration and license status of such companies and schemes before investing in them.

They also advised Nigerians to report any individual or entities suspected to be involved in such nefarious activities to the law enforcement agencies.

Court Convicts Serial Fraudster For N180m Scam

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A court gavel.

 

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, has convicted and sentenced Mohammed Sani Zubair to two years’ imprisonment.

Zubair, a serial fraudster was first arraigned on October 8, 2018, on four counts bordering on fraudulent dealings.

He was alleged to be a member of a syndicate, that specialised in defrauding people. Specifically, he defrauded a retired Army General to the tune of N180.000, 000 (One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira only).

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One of the counts read: “That you, Mohammed Sanni Zubair on or about October 2016, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, did make a statement to Naziru Aminu Shehu, an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the course of the exercise of the duties of his office, contained in your written statement dated 28th October, 2016, which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 39 (2) (a) and (b) of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004”.

He pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to him. Based on his plea, prosecution counsel, Richards Dauda, prayed for an accelerated hearing of the matter. Defence counsel, O. F Ekengba did not oppose the prayers. The trial lasted four years with the prosecution counsel presenting many witnesses.

Justice Ojukwu, however, gave the convict an option of fine of N400,000(Four Hundred Thousand Naira only).

Zubair’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when children of one Major General Geoffrey Ejiga (retd) petitioned the EFCC alleging that a syndicate of fraudsters took advantage of their father’s old age to defraud him of over N180, 000,000(One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira only).

The EFCC said it investigated the matter and found out that Zubair was involved in several other fraudulent dealings. He was eventually prosecuted and convicted by the court.

ICPC Secures Conviction Of Ex-Gombe School Principal Over N3.8m Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

Justice Halima S. Muhammed of Gombe State High Court 2, sitting in Gombe, has convicted and sentenced a 67-year-old retired Gombe State Secondary School Principal, Bello Muhammed Abubakar, to two years’ imprisonment over fraudulent activities and running of illegal institutions.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), had in a 2-count charge brought before the court, accused the convict of defrauding unsuspecting admission seekers of N3,884,200 in the guise of offering them admission into three non-existing higher institutions.

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The Commission also had in a Charge No: GM/128C/2021 informed the court of how Mr. Abubakar obtained by false pretense, the above sum and illegally operated the three different institutions known as Goni Mukhtar Polytechnic, Goni Mukhtar College of Education and Goni Mukhtar Linguistic Centre, in one block of three class rooms in Gombe State between 2009 and 2015.

His actions are contrary to Section 13 and punishable under Section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, Section 1(i) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act, 2006 and Section 320 of the Penal Code.

When the convict was admitted to take his pleas during his arraignment on the 22nd of February 2022, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him. This development informed the trial judge to adjourn the case to 29th and 30th March 2022, respectively for definite hearing.

However, at the resumed hearing, Mr. Abubakar changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
After admitting guilty to all the charge, Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, applied for the review of the facts by tendering all necessary documents in line with Section 290 (1) of Gombe State Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The Prosecution Counsel also asked the court for an order to immediately close down all the institutions permanently.In a swift reaction Counsel to the convict, Mr. A.B. Ebrany prayed the court for leniency for his client on the grounds of his age, having a large family and being a first-time offender.

In handing down the judgment to the convict, Justice Muhammed sentenced the retired school principal to two years’ imprisonment and ordered the immediate and permanent closure of the illegal institutions.