30 January 2013

Nigeria: Court Jails College Provost, Bursar Over Fraud

Ibadan — An Ibadan High court, yesterday, convicted the Provost of the Federal Cooperative College, Eleyele, Ibadan, Mrs. Ruth Adehwe Aweto and the bursar of the college, Mr. Adekanye Komolafe for defrauding the Federal Government.

They were both sentenced to four years imprisonment without an option of fine.

According to Justice Mashood Abass, who read the three- hour judgment, the two public officers were guilty of four of the eight charges leveled against them.

The convicts were charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, for misleading the government through the budget proposal submitted by the college for the year 2006.

According to the charges against them, "Ruth A. Aweto, (F) and Adekanye Komolafe (M) between the months of October 2005 and January 2006 or thereabout, at ibadan, being public officers in the service of Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan did engage in criminal conspiracy to use a document which is defective in material particular; to wit, Budget proposal submitted by the college for the year 2006 to mislead the Federal Government of Nigeria."

"The aforesaid Budget proposal that 41 casual staff of the said college who were entitled to N3,690,000 as total annual emolument for the year 2006 were permanent staff of the said college and were therefore entitled to full benefits and Emoluments as payable staff totaling N7,041,861.15 for the year 2006."

They were sentenced to one year imprisonment for each of the counts, and the sentence is to run concurrently.

The judge stated that the prosecution counsel had proved the case beyond reasonable doubts that the accused being the principal officers of the college, betrayed the trusts reposed in them by the Federal government and used their positions to mismanage the money entrusted to them for smooth running of the College.

The court held that there were enough proofs that the college employed 41 casual workers with the monthly salary of N7,5000 which amounted to N3,690,000 as the total emolument for year 2006.

But the convicted persons jerked up the salary to read N7, 041,861.15k.

He noted that the accused persons said it before the court that they agreed to present and submit budget proposal of N7,041,861.15k of the college on the 41 casual workers for the year 2006.

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