Friday, October 23, 2020

Nigeria: Former corruption agency board nominee convicted on bribery charges

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A FORMER chairman of the Governing Council, Kwara State Polytechnic, Sa’ad Alanamu, has been convicted of bribery and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

Rasheedat Okoduwa, spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), disclosed this in a statement made public on Friday.

Also sentenced alongside Alanamu was Salman Sulaiman, director of Namylas Nigeria Limited, who was found guilty of giving a bribe.

The Attorney-General of the Federal filed an eight-count charge against Alanamu in September 2017 at the Kwara State High Court. He had been nominated the previous month, among 13 others, by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo into the board of the ICPC.

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But an exclusive report by The ICIR showed that Alanamu and Maimuna Aliyu, another nominee, were being investigated by the same agency for alleged acts of corruption and were soon to be prosecuted. Alanamu was facing probe for abuse of office while he was head of several institutions in Kwara State.

It was likewise exclusively reported that the federal government failed to run security checks on the nominees before their names were announced. A source had told the Centre that the appointees were simply picked “from a long list of names that had piled up in the two years that the Muhammadu Buhari government came into office”. Such appointments were often used to reward party faithful.

After the publications, the vice president stepped down the nomination of the two individuals “who have ongoing investigation issues with the commission as this presents a conflict”. A month later, Alanamu was formally charged for receiving bribes.

He was accused of collecting N5 million from Sulaiman, a contractor-friend, as bribe for a contract awarded. The ICPC discovered that the company, Namylas Nigeria, had submitted doctored documents while bidding.

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Alanamu was also accused of awarding  N182 million contract for the construction and furnishing of an auditorium in Kwara State Polytechnic to a friend’s company though it lacked the capacity to execute it.

The trial judge, Mahmud Abdulgafar, found Alanamu guilty of the charges and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on the second and third counts, as well as five years with hard labour on counts one, four, and five, with no option of paying fine. The sentences are to run concurrently, he noted.

The Honourable Justice also ordered he pays N25 million, in complying with the ICPC Act that mandates a public officer found guilty of receiving gratification to forfeit the bribe and “pay a fine of not less than five times the sum of the value of the gratification”.

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