The former Managing Director of the Rural Electricity Agency, Mr. Samuel Gakpe was sentenced to 3 years in prison, by court, with the option of paying N5million despite being involved in a N5.2billion scam.
Four other senior officials of the agency that were convicted alongside the for MD, were also sentenced to three years in prison and they ere all given the option of paying a N500,000 fine within 30 days of the judgement.
According to The Punch, the four other convicts included an accountant in the REA, Simon Kirdi Nanle; Director of Projects, Kayode Orekoya; Assistant Director, Abdusamad Hahun; and Head of Legal Department, Kayode Oyedeji.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the convicts before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of an FCT High Court nearly 10 years ago.
They were charged by the EFCC for criminal breach of trust in fraudulently awarding contract for Grid Extension and Solar Electricity from the amended 2008 budget of the REA.
The convicts were said to have fraudulently facilitated the withdrawal of $119.7m from the account of the agency domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria. They were arrested in 2008 and arraigned in court for the offense committed.
The trials have been in court all the years and at a point was being stalled by lack of concrete evidence and the inability of the prosecution team to prove their case in court.
In the course of trial, the prosecution led by Kemi Pinheiro, (SAN), called seven witnesses before closing its case. It was then established that the convict actually carried out the offense from the cross examinations on the witnesses.
But rather than open its defence, the defendants through Paul Ewekoro (SAN), made a no-case submission which was overruled by the court and thereafter were called upon to open their defences.
The defendants were accordingly convicted and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment with the options of fine.