Corruption and Underdevelopment

Ex-Perm Sec bags 12 years’ jail term for non-declaration of assets

• Forfeits N97.3m, $139,575.50, £10,121.52 to FG

By Paul Michael, Abuja

A former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh, has been convicted to 12 years imprisonment by Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Trumpet gathered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

Illoh was prosecuted by the EFCC on a three-count charge bordering on non-declaration of assets to the tune of N97.3m.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr Illoh Onubuogo Clement, on the 19th day of April 2016 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: the sum of N97, 300, 613. 44 (Ninety-Seven Million, Three Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirteen Naira, Forty Four Kobo), which sum you warehoused in Account No 3033750243 domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria Ltd in your name and you, therefore, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 27(3) (C) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.”

At the proceedings, the prosecution counsel, during cross-examination of the defendant, revealed that Illoh received funds to the tune of N65million from SURE-P project contractors, which was domiciled in his personal First Bank account with no:3033750243.

In the course of proceedings, the defence counsel, T.S. Awana, sought the court’s permission to confer with his client.

Thereafter, the defendant, through his counsel, applied to change his “not guilty” plea.

Justice Kuewunmi granted the application and Illoh “pleaded guilty”.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Kuewumi held that “I have given due attention to the allocates of the defendant.

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“However, the court will not fail to perform its duty in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“Consequently, the defendant is hereby sentenced to four years in each of the counts and the same shall run concurrently from the 10th of October 2019.”

The Judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of N97, 300,613.44, $139,575.50 and £10,121.52 respectively to the Federal Government of Nigeria, being proceeds of unlawful activities.

According to a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, “The EFCC had, on October 3, 2019, secured the conviction and sentencing of Illoh to five years imprisonment over a N14.1m fraud before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.”

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