A serving Deputy Director of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Ahmad Balarabe, has been sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment by the High Court 3 sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, for defrauding jobseekers of N7m.
Balarabe had earlier been dragged before Justice Bello Shinkafi by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
The convict, who was first arraigned in September 2018, had pleaded not guilty to the two counts of obtaining by false pretences.
The ICPC prosecutor, Mashkur Salisu, had told the court that Balarabe, while serving as the FCC Coordinator for Sokoto and Zamfara states in 2017, collected N7m from some jobseekers with a promise to get them employment with the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State.
The court was also informed that the action of the convict was in contravention of Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
While delivering the judgment, Justice Shinkafi said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that the action of the convict was “despicable and unbecoming of a public servant.”
According to a statement on Tuesday by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, titled, ‘ICPC secures conviction of deputy director over N7m fraud,’ the court, however, gave the convict an option of N500,000 fine.
It stated: “The judge sentenced Ahmad Balarabe to 14 years’ imprisonment with an option of fine of N500, 000.
“The judge also ruled that the convict should pay back N7m to the victims of the crime in line with Section 11 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and Section 321 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.”