Friday, 4 December 2015

How Former Commissioner jailed 10 years without bail for stealing state funds

Former Adamawa State Commissioner for Finance and Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs during Boni Haruna’s administration, John Elias has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment without option of fine by a Federal High Court sitting in Yola, presided over by Justice Bilkisu Bello Aliyu.

Following this ruling, Aliyu ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission to shut down Elias’s company, Alhakim Nigeria Limited as well as pay the state sum of N51.5 million which he stole while he held sway in office. Delivering the judgement under section 3 (2) of the miscellaneous act, the judge said this will serve as a deterrent to occupiers of public office who may want to filter resources meant for developmental projects.

In her judgement, Aliyu said: “I hereby sentence the first accused, John Babani Elias for 10 years imprisonment on count 3 and another 10 years imprisonment on count 4 but the two sentences will run concurrently. In addition, the first convict must return/refund the sum of N51.5 million to Adamawa state local Government joint account fund from where it was stolen and diverted by him and his coy.

“With regards to the second convict ALHAKIM NIGERIA LIMITED, I sentenced it to pay a fine of N5 million on the offenses in count 3 and 4 it is convicted of. In addition, the company would wound up by Corporate Affairs Commission as provided by section 3(2) of the miscellaneous offenses and all its assets forfeited to federal government of Nigeria.”