The Court of Appeal has upheld the five-year jail term handed to the former Deputy Chairman of Akure North Local Government Council, Honourable Gbenga Ojo, by an Ondo State High Court.
Justice T. O. Osoba of the Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure had convicted Ojo on the 28th of January, 2014, on a three-count charge that includes making false statement and embezzlement, preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
ICPC had accused Ojo of diverting N1.3 million meant for “Logistic arrangement” for the visit of the then Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Agagu, to the Council, as head of the visit’s Planning Committee in 2004, an action punishable under Sections 16 and 26 (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The Commission accused Ojo of “Knowingly furnishing false statement in respect of the sum of N70, 000 received by him claiming that part of the money was disbursed to security agents of the Executive Governor of Ondo State, for fuelling, when no such disbursement was made.”
Ojo and the Head of Personnel of the Local Government, Leye Adejumoye were also accused of conspiring to defraud the Council of N1.3 million meant for the visit by claiming that the sum of N90, 000 was taken out of the money to buy Ankara cloth from a seller called Mama Butik, when no such purchase was done.
Justice Osoba in his ruling had sentenced the ex-Vice Chairman to five years imprisonment on each count and an option of fine in the sum of N2 million. The sentence was to run concurrently, but the fine was to be paid cumulatively.
But Mr. Ojo through his lawyer kicked against the judgment claiming that it was a miscarriage of justice against him and Mr. Adejumoye. He therefore sought for the quashing of the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal at the conclusion of hearing on the appeal affirmed on the 17th of April 2015, the conviction of Ojo thereby sentencing him to five years imprisonment.