A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gwagwalada, has sentenced an officer with the Kuje Correctional Centre, Ahmed Abdu, to a four-year jail term for engaging in employment scam.
Abdu was charged before the court in 2014 by the Independent Corrupt
Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for defrauding
one Adamu Abubakar of N250, 000.
While handing down the sentence, Justice Abubakar Kutigi said
it would deter other government officials that may want to take
advantage of the unemployment situation in the country to defraud
unsuspecting job seekers.
He was also said to have collected the same amount from five other
persons to get them employed into any of Nigeria Immigration Service,
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigerian Correctional
Service, and signed an undertaking to refund the money if he failed to
ICPC, in a two-count, told the court that the convict used his
position as a public officer to hoodwink his victims into paying money
for jobs that did not exist.
Prior to the sentencing, Abdu who was not represented by a counsel,
pleaded with the court to be lenient with him, adding that he was a
first-time offender, as well as, the first child of his family with a very large number of dependants.
Counsel to ICPC, Ngozi Onwuka, in her submission, prayed the court to
direct Abdu to make restitution by refunding the monies he collected
from other victims to them.
Justice Kutigi, in his ruling, said that even though the court was
mindful of Abdu’s plea for leniency, he was only allowed to apply the
dictates of the extant laws upon which he was charged.
He said that the facts before the court had shown a consistent trait of
the convict using his position as a public officer to lure unsuspecting job seekers to pay for non-existent jobs.
He, therefore, sentenced him to four years imprisonment – two years on
each count – with no option of fine, and that the sentences would run