High Court official jailed for stealing N1.1m | Independent Newspapers Limited
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High Court official jailed for stealing N1.1m

Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Judith Eshemitan, Lagos

An Ikeja High court presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu on Monday sentenced a staff of the probate division  of the Lagos State judiciary, Mrs Bukola Adeosun to a three-year jail term for stealing government money.

Justice Okunnu in her judgement, held that Adeosun was guilty of stealing N1,114,000 belonging to the government.

The judge however absolved her of conspiracy on the ground that  there was no evidence linking her conduct with anybody as claimed by the prosecution.

Adeosun was accused by the prosecution on three count charge of stealing, alteration and  conspiracy, alongside another probate official, Mrs Funmilayo Kazeem. The duo was accused of  defrauding the government and their unsuspecting victims who came for official transactions at the probate division of the court.

The judge found Adeosun guilty of two of the three counts of conspiracy, stealing and alteration pressed against her by the prosecution. She however absolved her of conspiracy, on the ground that  there was no evidence linking her conduct with anybody as claimed by the prosecution.

The court however discharged and acquitted the second defendant for the offences of conspiracy and stealing while convicted 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 N1.1million from different people, while issuing them original government receipts, without reflecting same in the official records of the treasury of the court.

She was accused of issuing receipt bearing big sum of money, contrary to the official directive which prescribed any transaction above N2000 to be paid to the bank.

During the trial, the prosecution informed the court that the cashiers at the probate were not expected to collect cash above two thousand Naira 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 held that the prosecution was able to prove the case of stealing against the convict in spite of the fact that she argued her voluntary statements where she admitted that collecting the money were taken under duress.

She also denied ever collecting money from her victims, as well attributing her problems to her co-accused.

Justice Okunnu stated that her statements were voluntarily made and that the discrepancies in her statements were undoubted.

The judge held, “the first defendant stole the money belonging  to the Lagos State government and she had engaged in unwholesome practices to swindle the government.”