Metro & Crime

Supreme Court affirms 6 years jail term for ex-Federal Pension Director, John Yusuf

…orders him to refund N22.9b to FG

The Supreme Court yesterday affirmed the six years imprisonment imposed on a former Federal Director of Pensions (FDP), John Yakubu Yusuf for misappropriating N22.9 billion Police Pension Fund. The apex court apart from affirming the six years sentence also ordered him to refund the N22.9 billion to the Federal Government covers. Justice Tijjani Abubakar in his judgment in an appeal filed by Yusuf upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal which in 2018 sentenced him to six years imprisonment in addition to ordering him to refund the said sum.

The apex court held that Yusuf and others engaging in fraudulent practices must be told in clear language through court judgments that it is no longer business as usual. Justice Abubakar said that the appeal of the former federal pension Director seeking to set aside the six years jail term against him was frivolous, vexatious and devoid of merit.

He further held that victims of the convicted Director deserved restitution which can only be achieved through justice. The Supreme Court in the unanimous judgment held that the judgment of the Federal Capital Territory High Court which in 2016 sentenced Yusuf to two years imprisonment with an option of N750, 000 was a slap on the wrist.

Justice Abubakar said that the plea bargain at the high court and ruling of the Judge on it was not only bizarre, embarrassing but ridiculous and unacceptable. The apex court said that the sentence at the high court was mea-gre, insufficient and ridiculous in view of the huge negative impacts the fraudulent action of the convict must have caused the pensioners. Justice Abubakar adopted the judgment of the Court of Appeal which imposed six years jail term on the former pension Director and also directed him to make a refund of N22.9B to the Federal Government.

“I have carefully perused the case of the appellant (Yusuf). I found it to be frivolous, vexatious and devoid of merit. “I make an order dismissing the appeal and affirming the findings and conclusion of the Court below,” the Supreme Court Justice said. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had arraigned Yusuf before an FCT High Court in 2016 where he admitted committing the fraud and subsequently entered into a plea bargain with the anti-graft agency. Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT high court had upon the plea bargain sentenced the former director to two years imprisonment with an option of N750.000 fine which he promptly paid and escaped imprisonment.

 

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