Lagos judiciary staff jailed for stealing

Posted by News Express | 21 April 2015 | 3,552 times

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Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, yesterday sentenced a staff of the probate division of the Lagos State judiciary, Mrs. Bukola Adeosun, to three years behind bar for siphoning funds belonging to the Lagos State judiciary.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Okunnu found Mrs. Adeosun guilty of two out of the three count charge of conspiracy, stealing and alteration made against her by the police.

The judge declared that the convict was guilty of stealing N1,114,000 belonging to the state judiciary, absolving her of conspiracy on the grounds that there was no evidence linking her conduct with anybody as claimed by the prosecution.

Mrs. Adeosun was charged to court by the police on a three-count charge of stealing and conspiracy alongside another probate official, Mrs. Funmilayo Kazeem.

Both were accused of defrauding the government and their unsuspecting victims who came for official transactions at the probate division of the court.

However, the court discharged and acquitted the second defendant for the offences of conspiracy and stealing, convicting the 1st defendant of the offence of stealing.

According to the prosecution, the convict, between June and August, 2008, collected various sums of money amounting to N1.1 million from different people, while issuing them original government receipts without reflecting same in the official records of the treasury of the court.

Mrs. Adeosun was also accused of issuing receipt bearing the said sum of money, contrary to the official directive which prescribed any transaction above N2,000 to be paid to the bank.

During trial, the prosecution explained that the cashiers at the probate were not expected to collect cash above N2,000 on transaction but during investigation, it was revealed that the convict collected various sums of money, ranging from N4,000 to N150,000 from her unsuspecting victims, in pretext to help them conduct some probate issues.

In her judgment, Justice Okunnu maintained that the prosecution was able to prove the case of stealing against the convict despite the fact that she argued her voluntary statements where she admitted collecting the money were taken under duress.

The judge further held that her statements were voluntarily made and that the discrepancies in her statements were undoubted.

According to Justice Okunnu, “The first defendant stole the money belonging to the Lagos State judiciary and she had engaged in unwholesome practices to swindle the government.”

 *Adapted from Newswatch Times. Photo shows. Justice


Source: News Express

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