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Nigerian Major General jailed for stealing

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Nigerian Major General jailed for stealing

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A Nigerian Army Special Court-martial sitting in Abuja on Tuesday found a former Group Managing Director, Nigerian Army Properties Limited, Maj.-Gen. Umar Mohammed, guilty of stealing some funds belonging to the organisation.

Daily Trust reports that Mohammed was tried on an 18-count charge bordering on forgery, misappropriation of funds, conspiracy among others.

The accused had, however, earlier pleaded not guilty to all the charges pressed against him.

But at the resumed sitting on Tuesday where the judgment was given, the eight-man panel led by Maj.-Gen. James Myam, stated that the convicted senior military officer was found guilty of 14 out of 18 charges.

Myam stated that count one was brought under section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and punishable under section 390 (7), adding the charge was also brought pursuant to section 114 of the armed forces Act Cap A20 2004.

The panel explained that the prosecution counsels called 24 witnesses, while the defendant called two witnesses.

The panel, thereafter, in its judgement ordered that the convicted senior officer be jailed for 5 years each for some of the offences while some others carried 7 and 2 years respectively.

While explaining that the sentences would run concurrently, the court also directed that he should refund some funds into the account of NAPL.

Myam explained that the sentences were subject to the confirmation of “confirming authority”.

Prior his sentencing, Mohammed had been in the detention facility of the Nigerian at Mogadishu cantonment, Abuja where he spent over 2 years.

In the same vein, Mohammed was found guilty in counts 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 as well as count 18, which bordered on conduct to prejudice on discipline, forgery and criminal misappropriation of funds respectively.

The panel in its judgement ordered that the convicted senior officer be jailed for 5 years each of the counts 1 to 6 while some of other offences carried 7 and 2 years respectively.

The court, thereafter, ordered that the convicted senior military officer must return the sum $2,178,900 and N1.65bn to the account of Nigerian Army Property Limited (NAPL).

Prior to his sentencing, Mohammed had been in the military detention facility of the Nigerian Army at Mogadishu cantonment, Abuja, where he spent over 2 years.

Myam said, “General Umar Mohammed was guilty of 14-count charges out of 18 counts and the findings are as follows: Count 1: Stealing: 5 years imprisonment, and he must return a total sum of $1,045,400.000 dollars to NAPL account.

“Count 2: Stealing: He was found guilty. Punishment: 5 years imprisonment. He must return $480,000 dollars to NAPL. Count 3: Stealing: 5 years imprisonment and he is to return $85,400 dollars to NAPL.

“Count 4: Stealing: 5 years imprisonment and he is to return the sum of $35,300 only to NAPL. Count 5: Stealing: 5 years imprisonment and to return the sum of N55,500 dollars to NAPL.

“Count 6: Stealing and is sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. This is in line with 174 of the Armed Forces Act Cap 8 120 and he shall pay $46,500 only to NAPL. Count 7: Criminal conspiracy to commit forgery (Not Guilty) Discharged and acquitted. Court 8: Forgery (Guilty) sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.

“Count 9: Offence is theft and it is guilty and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. The special court-martial relying on 174 Ordered $430,800 to NAPL. Count 10: Conspiracy to forge document (Not Guilty) discharged and acquitted on count 10.”

Myam stated that count one was brought under section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and punishable under section 390 (7), adding the charge was also brought pursuant to section 114 of the armed forces Act Cap A20 2004.

The panel explained that the prosecution counsels called 24 witnesses, while the defendant called two witnesses.

While explaining that the sentences would run concurrently, Myam explained that the sentences were subject to the confirmation of “confirming authority” (Army Council).

The Defence Counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), after the judgment, made an oral application that the convicted senior officer be moved to Kuje Correctional Facility instead of keeping him in the military detention facility, but the court denied the application.

(Daily Trust)