A former Federal Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh Onubuogo, has been sentenced to five years in jail over N14.1m SURE-P fraud. The sentence was passed by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting, in Ikeja, Lagos.
Onubuogo was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a three-count charge bordering on stealing by conversion of property to the tune N14,176,000.00. The former permanent secretary, who was responsible for supervising numerous programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself, using his personal company and friends.
Oyedepo also submitted that “for the fact that the defendant unlawfully transferred public funds to his private account or to another party’s account that had nothing to transact with the government constituted the of offence of stealing, money laundering and conversion. Oyedepo further told the court that the defendant wanted to cover the trail of the funds by moving the funds to Clement and Bob Associates, belonging to him, but that EFCC’s investigations revealed the concealment of the funds.
The intention to conceal was clearly manifested in the movement of the funds to the defendant’s private company and this shows a clear proof of stealing and money laundering, he added. Oyedepo, therefore, urged the court to sentence the defendant according to the law, adding that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
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