A Federal High Court sitting in Jos the Plateau State capital North Central Nigeria, has sentenced a former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe and two others to three months imprisonment for a 450million naira fraud.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Musa Kurna who gave the convicts an option to pay a fine of one million naira each, held that after withdrawing the said amount from the bank, they did not withhold the money to themselves but delivered it to a governorship candidate, as such were not guilty of retaining the sum for themselves.
Kurna however said they were guilty of withdrawing the N450 million which he said was above the threshold of an individual withdrawal.
He said, the offence, which contravened the provisions of Section 16(1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2013 as amended, also carries a minimum of three years imprisonment or a N10 million fine.
The judge however, in his discretion sentenced them to three months imprisonment each or an option of N1 million naira each.
Reacting to the judgement in an interview with Journalists, counsel to the accused persons Sunday Oyawole said the decision would not stand and insisted his client did not commit any offence as the said funds passed through financial institutions recognised by law.
He therefore vowed to seek redress in the court of appeal.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2018 had charged them with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
Court jails ex-Water Resources Minister 3 months for N450m fraud