The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has secured a nine-year jail term for Mr. Bashiru Akinola and Smart Ajisafe for impersonating ICPC staff and attempting to dupe a former Chairman of Egbeda Local Government Area, Oyo State, Mr. Kolawole Oke and Head of Personnel Department, Mr. Kolawole Oyerinde of their money.
Akinola and Ajisafe who were charged before Justice Mahmood Abass, of the Oyo State High Court 5, on a 9-count charge, were accused of demanding for the sum of N2 million from the two local government officials while being members of National Anti-Corruption Awareness Organization of Nigeria, an NGO affiliated to ICPC, purportedly to help quash a case of corruption with the Commission hanging on their necks.
ICPC counsel, Mr. Akinola Olakunle, while pressing the charge against them told the court that one of the accused, Akinola, was arrested in 2007 with marked N300, 000, notes through a sting operation organized by ICPC sequel to the receipt of a complaint by the local government officials. While Ajisafe was later arrested.
According to the counsel, the offences contravened Section 8 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000; Section 419 of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004; and Section 107(2) of the Criminal Code Cap C38 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
The offences are punishable under the same sections of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and the Criminal Code Laws respectively.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Adekunle Babalola and Tunde Olupona respectively, pleaded with the court to be lenient with them.
They said, “We plead with the court to temper justice with mercy on the grounds that they are first offenders and for ten years, they never missed a court date. Our clients have learnt their lessons, the court should on compassionate grounds, grant them a second chance.”
Justice Abass, in his ruling, sentenced Mr. Bashiru Akinola to six years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250, 000 and Mr. Smart Ajisafe to three years imprisonment with an option of fine of N200, 000 respectively.
A third accused person, Mrs. Sekinat Bello, who was charged with the convicts had earlier been discharged and acquitted on a no-case submission by the court.