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ICPC arraigns former judge over age falsification

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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former Imo State Customary Court of Appeal Judge, Francis Chukwuma Abosi, for allegedly altering an official document to falsify his age.

Abosi was brought before Justice U.P Kekemeke of the FCT High Court, Abuja, on a three-count charge bordering on forgery and conferring unfair advantage on himself.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua.

According to a statement signed by Ogugua, investigations revealed that during his appointments in 2010 and 2014, Abosi filed November 17, 1958, as his date of birth in the National Judicial Council Data before the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

However, luck ran out on him when the NJC wrote to the Nigeria Law School to verify his records. Unfortunately, findings from the Law School and his alma mater, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, showed that he was born on November 17, 1950.

“Consequently, the NJC suspended the defendant from office and recommended him to proceed on compulsory retirement, which he complied with. The Council then went on to report the matter to ICPC.”

Parts of the charge against the defendant read, “That you Francis Chukwuma Abosi (M) sometime in April 2010 or thereabout at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while being a public officer to wit: Judge of the Imo State Customary Court of Appeal made a false statement to the Chairman of the National Judicial Council in the exercise of the duties of his office by stating in the National Judicial Council Data on judicial officers form that your date of birth is November 17, 1958, when you know that your actual date of birth is November 17, 1950, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 25 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”

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The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

The bail application was moved by the defence counsel, J. O. Asoluka and was not opposed by the prosecution.

The defendant was consequently granted bail on self-recognition.

The case was adjourned to February 16, 2023, for a definite hearing.

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