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ICPC arrests Kano High Court Judge for conspiracy, forgery

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Babatunde Opalana 

 A former Kano State High Court Judge, Hon. Justice Kabiru Mamman Auta has been arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, on allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.

Auta was arrested by operatives of the Commission on Tuesday 14th November 2017 when he was invited for interrogation on allegations that he had conspired with some other persons to defraud a Kano businessman, Alhaji Bashir Sani Kwangila Yakasai (SKY) of the sum of Two Hundred and Twenty Million Naira (N220,000,000).

The matter was referred to the Commission after it had been reported to the National Judicial Council which had constituted a committee to investigate the allegations. The amount involved had been fraudulently obtained from Alhaji Yakasai by Hon. Justice Auta and his accomplice Bashir Sufi, on the pretext that they were acting on behalf of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar. Justice Auta in his statement to the Commission had disclosed that he had paid Twenty Million Naira (N20, 000,000) as part repayment to Alhaji Yakasai during the course of the matter.

The spokesperson for the Commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said that  Hon. Justice Auta was released from detention on administrative bail, while a further investigation into the matter continues.

In another development, Hon. Justice S. S. Ogunsanya of an Ikeja High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State has found Mr. Ademosu Iseoluwapo and Itoha Ihiere guilty of visa racketeering and therefore convicted them of the offence.

The convicts were dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for forgery and providing misleading information to the British High Commission in Lagos with the intent of procuring visas to the United Kingdom.

The 1st convict, Mr. Ademosu Iseoluwapo, a staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had used his position in the ministry to procure false and misleading documents for the 2nd convict, Mr. Itoha Ihiere who was not even a staff of the Ministry while trying to procure visas for other genuine staff of the Ministry.

Iseoluwapo had provided Ihiere with a fake Lagos State Government identity card and pay-slip of the ministry to facilitate his visa procurement.

The convicts had earlier pleaded guilty to a two-count charge for “…knowingly making false statement to an officer of the Commission with the intent to mislead thereby contravening Section 25(1)(a) and punishable under Section 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act, 2000 which prescribes 2 years imprisonment or an option of a fine not exceeding N100,000 or both.”

The defence counsel, Mr. Qudus Mumuni pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the 1st convict is the breadwinner of his family. He added that Iseoluwapo committed the offence with the intent to help Ihiere go abroad to make a living and help his family especially his only daughter.

In her ruling, Hon. Justice Ogunsanya, held that such actions by the convicts were responsible for giving the nation a bad name abroad. She, therefore, advised Ihiere to opt for an honest means of making a living such as farming in order to cater for his daughter.

The judge, therefore, sentenced Iseoluwapo and Ihiere to pay a fine of N50,000 each.


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