By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Richard Eromosele
Former Lagos Island Local Government Chairman, Chief Lukman Ajose, was Wednesday sentenced to eight years imprisonment for enriching himself by fraudulently converting the money belonging to the council for seminars and courses which he never attended.
Ajose, who was the chairman of the council under Alliance for Democracy, AD, was found guilty by Justice Joseph Oyewole for defrauding the council to the tune of N4.4 million by claiming to have attended several seminars and training outside Lagos, but were found out latter to be false.
His two-year jail term for the four-count offences will, however, run concurrently.
The former council boss, who defected to the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party, PDP from AD, was arraigned in 2007 by Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, on a six-count charge of â€œusing his office to confer corrupt advantage contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000.â€
Ajose who was found guilty of four out of the six-count charge brought against him, was said to have collected various sums of money at different times claiming to be monies spent on sundry issues, hotel and air transportation to Abuja.
Already, he has been moved to Kirikiri prison, Lagos where Chief Olabode George, another PDP chieftain is presently serving a 2-year jail term.
Both Ajose and Bode George were convicted by the same Judge, Oyewole.
In his judgment, Justice Oyewole held that â€œI have consider the allocutus of the learned defence counsel as well as the entire circumstances of this case. Corruption has been broadly identified as a major impediment to the growth of our nation and has grown to monstrous proportion in that wise, any proven incidence therefore must not be treated with kid gloves if the monster is to be tamed.
â€œIn the circumstances therefore, the defendant is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment without an option of fine n each count 1, 2, 5, and 6 respectively. Sentenced shall run concurrently.â€
Ajose, who claimedÂ to have traveled to Abuja and some other parts of the country for seminars was convicted after convincing evidences contrary to his denial shown that he never attended such seminars and training programmes of which he never participated.