Legal Nigeria

Court sentences ex-Minister, Sarah Ochekpe, two others

A Federal High Court sitting in Jos Division, Plateau State capital has sentenced a former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, ex-Chairman of People Democratic Party (PDP) Hon. Raymond Dabo and Evangelist Leo Sunday Jitong to three-month imprisonment each.

The trio was standing trial of money laundering and diversion of 2015 campaign funds.

The accused persons were sentenced by Justice Musa Kurya for misappropriation, diversion, and indiscriminate withdrawal of money through a new generation bank.

They have been standing trial for the past four years on charges bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.

However, the two- hour judgment that sentenced the accused gave them an option of fine of N1million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the accused persons before the Federal High Court in Jos for alleged embezzlement of N450 million.

They were charged for illegal receiving funds from former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke to finance the re-election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

EFCC prosecution counsel, Yusuf Muchaka, said the accused breached the law by receiving money they knew was corruptly sourced.

He supported the charge with an affidavit sworn to by Olayinka Rotimi, an operative with EFCC who was part of the team that investigated the case.

However, defense counsel, Barr. Sunday Oyawole argued that the witness was not the maker of the tendered documents and therefore urged the court to discard them.