Non-Assets Declaration: Again, Court Sends Ex-Perm Sec, Illoh, to 12 Years Imprisonment

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Court Gavel

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday sentenced a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Clement Illoh, to 12 years imprisonment on a three-count charge bordering on non-declaration of assets.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court had on October 3, 2019 convicted Illoh and sentenced him to five years imprisonment for N14.1million fraud.

However, in his latest trial, Justice Babs Kuewunmi again convicted Illoh after he changed his, “not guilty” plea to “guilty,” four years after the prosecution closed its case.

The judge held “I have given due attention to the allocutus of the defendant. However, the court will not fail to perform its duty in accordance with the provisions of the law.

“Consequently, the defendant is hereby sentenced to four years in each of each counts and same shall run concurrently from the 10th of October 2019.”

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the sum of N97,300,613.44, $139,575.50 and £10,121.52 respectively to the federal government of Nigeria being proceeds of unlawful activities.

Illoh was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge.

In the first count, EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that the defendant on April 19, 2016, in Lagos, failed to make full disclosure of assets to the tune of N97.3 million, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 27 Sub-section 3c of the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.

In the second count, he was accused of failing to disclose the sum of $139,575, while in the third count he failed to disclose assets of £10,121.00 respectively.

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However, when the matter came up yesterday, Illoh made changed his plea and pleaded guilty following an intensive cross-examination from EFCC counsel Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo.

The prosecutor revealed that Illoh received funds to the tune of N65million from SURE P project contractors to his personal First Bank account number 3033750243.

In the middle of proceedings, defence counsel Mr. T.S. Awana sought the court’s permission to confer with his client, following which he applied for the defendant to change his plea.

Justice Kuewunmi granted the application and Illoh pleaded guilty.

Accordingly, he was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment on each of the counts running concurrently.

The sentence is the second time in three years Illoh has been convicted of fraud.

On October 3, 2019, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court jailed Illoh for five years for N14.1million fraud.

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