Court sends Deputy Director to jail over N11m fraud

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A serving Deputy Director of the Niger State Ministry of Land Transportation, Umar Shehu Farouk has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the State High Court in Minna for demanding and receiving gratification of N11 million from a contractor for the award of contract.

Uba Group

Farouk had earlier been dragged before Justice Abdullahi Mikail, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission.

The convict was first arraigned in July, 2020 on a seven-count charge bordering on gratification and conferment of corrupt advantage upon self, an allegation to which he pleaded not guilty, thereby setting the tone for the long trial.

ICPC prosecutor, Osuobeni Ekoi Akpos, had told the court that Farouk, while serving as the Deputy Director of Land Transport for the Niger State Ministry of Land Transportation in 2016, collected the sum of Eleven Million Naira (N11,000,000) as kickback from a contractor for the award of contract for the registration of Auto Mechanic Workshops, registration of Auto Spare Parts Dealers, registration of Motorcycle/Tricycle Dealers and registration of Color Code Certification for Commercial Transport operators.

The prosecution explained to the court how the convict had received money on different occasions sometimes One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000), Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000), Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000), to the tune of N11 million from one Oyabambi Bolaji Stephen on behalf of Boyabam Services Global Limited in exchange for a contract.

The court was also informed that the said action of the convict was in contravention of Sections 8 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Act.

One of the charges read, “That you Umar Shehu Farouk (M) sometime in March, 2016 or thereabout, while being in the employment of the Niger State Government as Deputy Director, Land Transport, at Minna, Niger State Capital, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court corruptly received the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) from one Oyabambi Bolaji Stephen on behalf of Boyabam Services Global Limited for yourself through your United Bank for Africa (UBA) account no, in relation to the award of contract for the registration of Auto Mechanic Workshops, the registration of Auto Spare Parts Dealers, the registration of Motorcycle/Tricycle Dealers and registration of the Color Code Certification for commercial transport operators and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.

The trial Judge stated that the prosecution had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt.

He thereby found the Deputy Director guilty on all the seven counts and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment each for counts one to six and five years imprisonment for count seven.

All the sentences are to run concurrently.