A high court in Lagos state has sentenced Clement Illoh, former permanent secretary in the federal ministry of labour and productivity, to five years imprisonment.
Illoh was arraigned on October 16, 2017, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge bordering on stealing and conversion of property worth N14.176m. The anti-graft agency accused Illoh of awarding fictitious contracts to himself, using his personal company and friends.
Oluwatoyin Taiwo, the judge who heard the case, found the ex-permanent secretary guilty of the charges and convicted him accordingly. The judge also ordered forfeiture of the N14 million SURE-P fund by the convict into the coffers of the federal government.
“It is unfortunate that a senior officer found himself in this predicament. A public officer has no right to steal from public funds,” the judge ruled.
“I therefore sentence the defendant to five years imprisonment without an option of fine. He should serve his sentence at the Ikoyi Prisons.”
Earlier, Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had urged the court to sentence Illoh to seven-years in prison.
“Each of the two charges stipulates a sentence of three years in prison, I urge the court to sentence the defendant to seven-years in prison according to Section 280 of the Criminal Law,” Oyedepo said.
Responding to Oyedepo’s submission, Taiwo said: “The court is of the discretion as regards sentencing.
“Therefore, the court has the discretion of reducing the sentence from seven-years to five-years. The sum of N3.5million withdrawn by the defendant and the sum of N10.5million recovered by the EFCC shall be refunded into the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the federation.”
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