An Ilorin Magistrate Court, presided over by Mr. J. B Salihu has sentenced one Owolabi Victor Olawale to six years imprisonment, without the option of fine for impersonating a staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Olawale who was arrested by the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Nigeria Police at the premises of the Kwara State Ministry of Education and Capital Development in Ilorin pleaded guilty to two counts charge of false personation and fraud.
Investigation conducted by the police after his arrest revealed that the convict fraudulently represented that he was an officer of ICPC by forging several documents in the name of the Commission. Some of the letters recovered from him by the police were addressed to schools and some other government establishments in the state claiming that he had the mandate of ICPC to audit their accounts.
As contained in one of the letters the convict addressed to Queen Elizabeth College Ilorin, he claimed that his terms of reference were to investigate the causes of examination failure and to audit all payments to the school, including school fees, education levy, WAEC fees, PTA fees, grants, and allocations received by management from 2013- 2016.
Further investigation also led to the recovery of a forged identity card of ICPC in the convict’s name leading him to confess to committing the crime.
On cross-examination by the prosecution counsel, Olawale said, ‘’I understand the nature of the information against me. The allegations are true. I am one hundred percent guilty of the offences that were read out and explained to me in this court but I want the court to tamper(sic) justice with mercy.’’
When further asked if he had any cause to show why he should not be convicted for the alleged offences against him, he said, ‘’I have no cause to show why I should not be convicted by this court for the said offences. I beg for leniency.’’
In his judgement, the magistrate said that, ‘’the accused, … having shown no cause why he should not be convicted for the offences of false personation and forgery punishable under sections 179 and 364 of the penal code, he is accordingly convicted for the said offences under the aforementioned sections.’’
He noted that, ‘’even though the convict is a first offender, given the rampant nature of the offences against him however, this court shall not be lenient with him. He has to be taught a lesson that would in turn serve as deterrent to others.’’
The court accordingly sentenced him to three years imprisonment on each count, but to run concurrently without an option of fine.