Two ex-officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Christian Nwosu and Tijani Bashir, have been sentenced to a total of 64 years imprisonment by a Federal High Court, Lagos for receiving the sum of N264.8 million gratification from a former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke,
The court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, had Thursday, convicted the two former INEC officials of the nine count charge leveled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The convicts were first arraigned before the court on May 5, 2017, on charges bordering on conspiracy, money laundering and obtaining huge amount without going through financial houses.
Justice Idris however reserved sentencing the convicts till today, due to the absence of the first convict, Nwosu, who was said to be on admission in a hospital.
At the resumption of the matter today, the convicts’ lawyer led by Victor Opara, in his allocutor, pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy as their clients were first time offenders. He also urged the court to consider reformatory sentence instead of custodian sentence to their clients.
Opara further urged the court to consider 35 years which the convict had served the country.
He also urged the court to consider Sections 305(1) paragraph 6 of ACJA, which prescribed that the court should pass its sentence on the convict but such sentence should be suspended pending the outcome of an appeal filed against the charges.
In response, the EFCC lawyer, M. A. Idris, while informing the court that though, the convicts are first time offenders, he urged the court to pronounce the sentence as prescribed by the law.
Idris, also informed the court to order the forfeiture of the money and properties recovered from the convicts to the Federal government of Nigeria.
After listening to both parties, Justice Idris, sentenced the convicts to a total of 64 years imprisonment without option of fine. The judge also ordered that all the landed properties recovered from the convicts be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.