Developing: Permanent Secretary jailed 12 years for fraud, forfeits N97.3m to FG

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Jailed for fraud: Dr Clement Illoh.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr Clement Illoh, to 12 years imprisonment for failure to make full disclosure of his assets.

Justice Babs Kuewunmi handed down the verdict on Thursday after Illoh owned up to committing the alleged offence.

The admittance came four years after the prosecution had closed its case.

“I have given due attention to the allocutus of the defendant. However, the court will not fail to perform its duty in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“Consequently, the defendant is hereby sentenced to four years in each of the counts and the same shall run concurrently from the 10th of October 2019,” Justice Kuewunmi held.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sums of N97,300,613.44, $139,575.50 and £10,121.52 said to have been concealed by Illoh to the Federal Government.

The convict admitted committing the alleged offence following intensive cross-examination by EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo.

In the course of the cross-examination, it was disclosed that Illoh received funds to the tune of N65 million from SURE-P project contractors to his personal account no: 3033750243 domiciled in First Bank.

In the middle of proceedings, defence lawyer, T.S. Awana, had sought the court’s permission to confer with his client, following which he applied for the defendant to change his plea.

The request was granted by the judge and Illoh consequently pleaded guilty to the charge.

It would be recalled that Illoh was on March 4, 2017 arraigned before Justice Kuewunmi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. Illoh Onubuogo Clement, on the 19th day of April, 2016 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: the sum of N97, 300, 613. 44, which sum you warehoused in Account No 3033750243 domiciled with a bank in your name and you therefore committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 27(3) (C) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.”

In the first count, the accused person was said to have “failed to make full disclosure of his assets to wit: the sum of N97, 300, 613.44, which sum he warehoused in Account No. 3033750243 domiciled in First bank in his name”.

In the second count, he was accused of “failure to make full disclosure of his assets to wit: the sum of $139, 575. 50, which sum he warehoused in Account No. 2017262246 domiciled with a bank in his name”.

In the third count, Dr Illoh was accused of “failure to make full disclosure of his assets to wit: “the sum of £10,121.52, which he warehoused in Account No. 2022684107 domiciled with First bank in his name”.

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