An FCT High Court, Abuja, has sentenced an Assistant Director, Alexander Micah Paman, to 12 years imprisonment for defrauding the Federal Government of N5 million.
Paman, a civil servant and former Chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja, was charged before Justice O. A. Adeniyi, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for misappropriating N5 million.
The convict was alleged to have made false retirement of N4.9 million for the N5 million approved by the Permanent Secretary on 4th December 2014 for the observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9th 2014, contrary to Section 16 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000. He was also accused of diverting the sum of N400,000 donated for the same purpose by the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, contrary to Section 19 of the said Act.
The convict, while defending his actions told the court that the money was actually spent for the celebration of the International Anti-Corruption Day, furnishing the court with unsubstantiated and unreceipted retirement claims. In his desperate bid to cover-up the diversion of the N400,000, he claimed that the amount was used for media, whereas the false retirement he made in respect of the N4.9 million included media coverage.
His claims were however pushed back by counsel to ICPC, Ekoi Akponimisingha, with evidence that Paman had used part of the N4.9 million to pay the media as contained in the false retirement and had diverted the N400,000 for his personal use.
Justice Adeniyi, in his judgment on the 8th of July 2020, said that ICPC had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convict failed to use the money for the purpose it was meant for.
He therefore sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment for making false returns, and five years for abuse of office and conferring corrupt advantage on himself. The sentencing would run concurrently, the Judge ruled.