31.1 C

Ex-civil service director to spend six years in jail for stealing pension funds





The court of appeal has upturned the N750,000 fine given to John Yusuf, a former assistant director of the Federal Civil Service, in 2013, after he pleaded guilty to embezzling police pension funds.

The appellate court ruled that Yusuf will now serve a six-year prison sentence and also pay a fine of N22.9 billion.

Yusuf was arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT High Court in 2013, alongside four others — Atiku Abubakar, a permanent secretary; Ahmed Wada, a director; Veronica Onyegbula, a cashier; and Sani Zira, an ICT officer — on a 20-count charge of converting N33 billion from the police pension funds to personal use.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of betrayal of trust and fraudulently converting N2 billion of the police pension to personal use. However, in a surprise ruling, the trial judge, sentenced Yusuf to two years imprisonment on each of the charges, but gave him an option of N250,000 fine for each count, totaling N750,000.

The EFCC, not satisfied with the ruling, took the case to the court of appeal, seeking to determine whether the judgement by the lower court was appropriate to the crimes to which the accused person pleaded guilty.

- Advertisement -

Yusuf, on his part, filed an application urging the court of appeal to strike out the appeal on the grounds that it was filed outside the mandatory 90 days.

Delivering its ruling on Wednesday, the panel of three appeal court judges unanimously held that the day the judgement was delivered cannot be included in the computation of the 90 days.

Therefore, since the High Court judgement was delivered on January 28, 2013, the 90 days started running from January 29 and thus, the 90th day would fall on a Sunday.

“Since the 90th day was a Sunday and by virtue of s. 15 (5) of Interpretation Act, a Sunday is a holiday, the next day which the notice of appeal was filed is within time, hence the appeal is competent and is therefore allowed,” the panel held.

The judges also unanimously ruled that the sentence of the High Court was not commensurate with the charges the accused person pleaded guilty to. The sentence was consequently quashed.

The new judgement will see Yusuf serve a two year prison sentence for each of the three counts. In addition, for Count 17, he is to pay a fine of N20 billion; N1.4 billion on Count 18, and N1.5 billion on Count 19.

The sentence of imprisonment is to run concurrently, and the fine is to be cumulative, the court ruled.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Naira redesign: CBN imposes limit to cash withdrawals in banks

Approximately a week to the commencement of the circulation of the newly redesigned naira...

Police arrest suspected kidnapper, rescue victims in Nasarawa

THE Nasarawa State Police Command says it has arrested a suspected kidnapper and rescued...

Labour Party accuses APC of sponsoring violence against its members in Lagos

THE Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) has accused the All Progressives...

Nigeria, Morocco, five West African nations collaborate on gas project execution

THE Nigerian and Moroccan governments have teamed up with five West African countries to...

2023: APC campaign council faults Peter Obi’s manifesto

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has faulted the manifesto of Labour...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter