A former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh, has been sentenced to twelve years imprisonment by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
The anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has dragged Illoh before the court on a three-count charge, which include fraud and non declaration of his assets.
In the first count, the prosecutor told the court that the convict on April 19, 2016, in Lagos failed to make full disclosure of assets to the tune of N97.3 million, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 27 Subsection 3c of the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.
In the second count, the prosecutor accused the convict of failing to disclose the sum of $139,575, while in the third count he failed to disclose assets of £10,121.
On Thursday after an intensive cross-examination of Illoh by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, it was revealed that the convict received funds to the tune of N65 million from SURE-P Project contractors to his personal First Bank account no: 3033750243.
In the middle of proceedings, defence counsel,T.S. Awana sought the court’s permission to confer with his client, following which he applied for the defendant to change his plea.
The presiding judge, Justice Babs Kuewunmi, granted the application and Illoh pleaded guilty.
Kuewunmi, in his judgement, ruled: “I have given due attention to the allocutus of the defendant. However, the court will not fail to perform its duty in accordance with the provisions of the law. Consequently, the defendant is hereby sentenced to four years in each of the three counts and same shall run concurrently from the 10th of October 2019.”
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of N97,300,613.44, $139,575.50 (about N58m) and £10,121.52 (about N4,453,000) respectively to the Federal Government of Nigeria being proceeds of unlawful activities.
The judge, therefore, convicted and sentenced Illoh to four years imprisonment on each of the counts, which he said should run concurrently.
The sentence is the second time in three years Illoh has been convicted of fraud.
On October 3, 2019, Illoh was sentenced to five years for N14.1million fraud by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court.