- Two Cameroonians have been convicted for illegally acquiring Nigerian passports
- The duo were sentenced to 18 years imprisonment
- The judge, however, gave them an option to pay N500,000 each as fine
Justice I. M. Sanni, of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo on Friday, April 27, sentenced two Cameroonians, Ebwe Michael and Ngu Tiku to 18 years imprisonment each for illegally acquiring Nigerian Passports.
Sanni, however, gave the defendants an option to pay N500,000 each as fine, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Legit.ng gathered that the judge, while sentencing the convicts, said that the court was lenient on them because they pleaded guilty and did not waste the time of the court.
He also said that the convicts were first offenders.
Sanni ordered that if the convicts failed to pay the fine, they will serve their sentences in Nigeria and would be deported after completion of their sentences.
Speaking to newsmen after the ruling, the prosecution counsel, David Babale, said the first convict, Michael, 43, in 2012 acquired a Nigerian passport without being detected.
Babale said luck, however, ran out on him when he came for re-issue in March 2018 with the second defendant, Tiku, 35 when they were caught by a vigilant Immigration Officer in Uyo.
Also speaking, the defence counsel, Mfon Uyoh, said he was satisfied with the judgment.
According to him, the Judge was lenient with the accused because they pleaded guilty and did not waste the time of the court.
“It was a good judgment in the sense that the judge has to be lenient on the convicts. He did not impose the maximum sentence on them.
“They are remorseful, pleaded guilty and did not waste the time of the court,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) secured a three-year jail term for a chief magistrate, Mohammed Balogun, for collecting a N50,000 bribe.
The Nation reports that the magistrate had demanded N100,000 from a litigant, Isidore Nnadi, for the purpose of giving him favourable judgment.
Nnadi, however, alerted the anti-graft agency which later effected the magistrate’s arrest. He was arrested during a sting operation after receiving the marked cash.
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