Court-martial Sentences Army General to Seven Years Imprisonment

Court-martial Sentences Army General to Seven Years Imprisonment

•Orders him to refund $2,178,900, N1.65bn to Nigerian Army Properties Limited

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Special Army Court-martial sitting in Abuja, yesterday, sentenced  former Group Managing Director, Nigerian Army Properties Limited, Maj Gen Umaru Mohammed, to seven years imprisonment for fraud.

President of the Special Court Martial, Major General James Myam, while reading the sentences, also ordered the convicted senior officer to refund the sum of $2,053,200 and N1,690,000 to the Nigerian Army.

At the tabulation of the sentences passed on the general, it amounted to 49 years imprisonment but with the court announcing that the sentences would run concurrently, it came down to seven years.

The army authorities arraigned Mohammed on an 18-count charge of stealing, forgery, misappropriation, and conspiracy.

Although the army general pleaded not guilty to all allegations, the court found him guilty of 14 of the 18 count charges.

Umar Mohammed is though believed to be a wealthy army general, the judge described his crimes as “the most fearless case of fraud ever recorded in the military.”

Mohammed was equally indicted for taking N74 million from the company’s account on August 22, 2019.

The army authorities also alleged that the defendant directed one Maj Usman and one other now at large to collect money from ship owners in dollars.

He however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The counts for which the senior officer was found guilty and the sentences as well as the orders were count 1, Stealing which is contrary to section 323, sub-section 7 of the Armed Forces Act.

He was found guilty, sentenced to five years imprisonment. The court further ordered him to pay back the sum of $1,045,400 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited

On Count 2, he was found guilty of Stealing and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay back the sum of $400,800 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited

On Count 3, he was found guilty of stealing and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was ordered to pay back the sum of $85,400 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited

Count 4, Mohammed was found guilty of stealing, sentenced to five years imprisonment and ordered to pay back the sum of $35,300 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited.

Count 5, he was found guilty of stealing contrary to section 383, sub-section 1 of the Criminal Code Act and sentenced to 5years imprisonment. The Special Court Martial also ordered the general to pay back the sum of $55,500 to Nigerian Army Properties Limited.

On count 6, he was found guilty of stealing contrary to section 310 of the criminal code and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay back the sum of $46,500 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited.

Mohammed was discharged and acquitted on Counts 7, conspiracy to commit forgery, Count 10, conspiracy to forgery of document, Count 11, forgery and Count 12, Conduct prejudice to service discipline and Count 17, criminal misconduct.

The court found him guilty of Count 8, forgery contrary to section 362 of the Armed Forces Act and he was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. He was found guilty of Count 9 and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Mohammed was also ordered to pay back the sum of $430,800 to the Nigerian Army Properties Ltd, and was found guilty of Count 12, which conduct contrary to service discipline and sentenced to two years

He was found guilty of Count 13, theft and sentenced to five years and ordered to pay back the sum of N74 million to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited.

The general was found guilty of Count 14, criminal misappropriation and sentenced to two years and ordered to pay back the sum of N590 million to the FCC NAM Limited

He was also found guilty of Count 16, criminal misapproriation, sentenced to two years imprisonment and ordered to pay back to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, the sum of N255 million.

In the same Count 16, the court further ordered the convicted general to pay back another sum of N550million to FCC Nigerian Army Properties Ltd.

The senior officer was found guilty of Count 18, criminal misappropriation contrary to section 308, Laws of Northern Nigeria, sentenced to two years imprisonment and ordered to pay back to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, the sum of N 172million.

President of the Special Court Martial, Major General James Myam, then, disclosed that the sentences were, however, subject to confirmation by the Army Council, which was the appropriate confirming authority.

The accused officer, who was the Executive Vice Chairman and GMD of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, pleaded not guilty to the allegations leveled against him and presented two witnesses. He said the prosecution on the other hand called 24 witnesses.

President of the Court, Major Gen Myam, had stated that the charges were brought under section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, punishable under section 390 (7) of the Act and section 114 of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 2004 among others.

Others charges against the convicted general were brought pursuant to section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, punishable under section 390 (7) of the Act, section 114 of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 2004.

After the sentences, the court adjourned sine die.

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