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N32.8bn fraud: S’court affirms 6-year jail term of ex-pension director

N32.8bn fraud: S’court affirms 6-year jail term of ex-pension director
April 13
12:35 2022

The supreme court has affirmed the six years’ imprisonment handed to John Yakubu Yusuf, a former federal director of pensions.

The apex court also affirmed the court of appeal judgment which ordered him to refund N22.9 billion to the federal government.

In 2013, Yusuf was initially convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of N750, 000 fine by Abubakar Talba, a federal capital territory high court judge, after a plea-bargain arrangement.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the EFCC, approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment.

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In its judgment delivered in 2018, the court of appeal quashed the trial court’s verdict and convicted the former pension director on three counts. Each of the counts carries two years’ imprisonment and they are to run concurrently.

The court of appeal also ordered him to return N22.9 billion to the government.

Yusuf fled after the court of appeal judgment but was later rearrested by the antigraft commission in June 2020 after which he was remanded in Kuje prison.

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In his appeal lodged at the supreme court, he prayed that his conviction and the order that he should refund N22.9 billion be set aside.

Tijjani Abubakar, justice of the apex court, while reading the judgment on Wednesday, upheld the decision of the court of appeal.

He held that the appeal was frivolous, vexatious and devoid of merit.

The supreme court said Yusuf and others who engage in fraudulent operations must be informed that it is no longer business as usual through court judgments.

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He further held that victims of the convicted director deserved restitution which can only be achieved through justice.

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