By Umar Yusuf
Yola – A former Commissioner for Finance and Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Adamawa state during Boni Haruna’s administration, John Elias has been sentecenecd to 10 years imprisonment without option of fine by a Federal High Court sitting in Yola, presided over by Justice Bilkisu Bello Aliyu.
The judge on Friday also ordered the Corporate Affairs Commission to shut down his company, ALHAKIM NIGERIA LIMITED as well as pay the state sum of N51.5 million which he stole while he held sway in office.
The presiding judge who delivered the judgement under section 3 (2) of the miscellaneous act said the judgement will serve as a deterrent to occupiers of public office who may want to filter resources meant for developmental projects.
Aliyu noted that Elias ought to have protected the public trust giving to him by living above board but instead, he decided to flagrantly helped himself with resources of the state and hence have to be punished.
The judge convicted Elias on count 3 and 4 charges and sentenced him to 10 years on each charge though the two convictions would run concurrently.
“I hereby sentenced the first accused, John Babani Elias for 10 years imprisonment on count 3 and another 10 years imprisonment on count 4 but the two sentences will run concurrently.
“In addition, the first convict must return/refund the sum of N51.5 million to Adamawa state local Government joint account fund from where it was stolen and diverted by him and his Coy.
“With regards to the second convict ALHAKIM NIGERIA LIMITED, I sentenced it to pay a fine of N5 million on the offenses in count 3 and 4 it is convicted of. In addition, the company would wound up by Corporate Affairs Commission as provided by section 3(2) of the miscellaneous offenses and all its assets forfeited to federal government of Nigeria,” Aliyu ordered.