The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has secured a one year prison term each for two staff of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Augustine Chukwuemeka and Agnes K. Ikeme, for abuse of public office.
They were alleged to have diverted Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) worth N22, 059,636 allocated to NRC by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Kaduna through a marketer, and sold it for their personal use, thereby committing an offence contrary and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Hon. Justice Mohammed Tukur Muazu Aliyu of Kaduna State High Court 7, handed over the jail term to the duo after evidence against them proved that they actually committed the offence.
The accused had earlier been arraigned by ICPC on a 20-count charge and had pleaded not guilty to all the allegations leveled against them which set the tone for months of legal trial.
During the proceedings, the counsel to ICPC convinced the court that the accused persons’ action was a clear breach of trust and sought the relief of the court to mete out the appropriate punishment on them in accordance with the provision of the law so as to serve as a deterrent to other public office holders.
Having found the accused persons guilty and taken their plea of leniency, the trial judge, relying on the case of Egwaba Vs Federal Republic of Nigeria, which makes sentencing discretionary for judges, sentenced them to one year imprisonment each without an option of fine.