By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto State has sentenced the Chairman of the Zamfara State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Murtala Adamu Jengebe to a cumulative jail term of 41 years.
In a unanimous judgement, a five-man panel of Justices of the appellant court led by Justice Hannatu Sankey, vacated a high court verdict that earlier acquitted the Defendant of money laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him.
The Acting Head of Media and Publicity at the EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, in a press statement he issued on Wednesday, disclosed that Jengebe was convicted after the appellate court found him guilty on seven out of the 10-count charge that he was earlier acquitted of by the Federal High Court at Gusau, Zamfara State.
Orilade revealed that in the lead judgment that was read by Justice Habeeb Abiru, the appellate court, set-aside the decision of the trial court that freed the Defendant.
“The appalate court held that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt seven out of the ten counts of the money laundering charge brought against him by the EFCC.
“He was consequently sentenced to five years imprisonment on each of four of the counts and seven years each on three other counts respectively.
“However, the Court ordered that the sentences shall run concurrently”, EFCC added.
It said the high court had on May 12, 2017, in a verdict that was delivered by trial Justice Z.B Abubakar, discharged and acquitted the convict of the 10-count charge of Money Laundering, though it convicted him for engaging in private business while he was still in public service.
EFCC noted that it never charged the Defendant with the offence for which the trial court found him guilty.
Dissatisfied with the judgement of the lower court, the anti-graft agency approached the Court Of Appeal to set it aside.