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Certificate scam: Court jails two ex-FIRS chiefs for five years

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced two former top shots of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Mohammed Adamu and Eunice Okoro Udokamma to five years imprisonment each for forging Income Tax Clearance Certificate for unsuspecting taxpayers.

The convicts were jailed for five years without an option of a fine for forging an Income Tax Clearance Certificate with serial number 05027875 and file number ABJ/PIT/07/CAITO/380.

The sum of N120, 000 was said to have been collected by the convicts to forge the certificate, the signature of one MD Naanmiap, a Tax Controller with FIRS, and presented same as genuine to one Vincent Enoghase for 2004, 2005, and 2006 tax period.

Justice Inyang Ekwo in a judgment on the five-count criminal charge brought against them by the Federal Government found them guilty in all the charges and sentenced them to one year in each of the counts without the option of a fine.

However, due to the passionate plea from their lawyers, Justice Ekwo ordered that the sentence should run concurrently.

By the court order, the 1st convict, Mohammed Adam, a dismissed staff of the FIRS will spend one year behind the bar beginning from April 27, 2022.

The 2nd convict, Eunice Okoro Udokamma, a housewife and mother of three children, will spend one year in prison without an option of fine but beginning from April 13, 2010, when she was arrested and made to spend over two and half years in detention.

Justice Ekwo held that the offence committed by the convicts which are contrary to section 49 (1) of the FIRS Act No 13 of 2007 was proved beyond reasonable doubt by the Federal Government lawyer, Mr James Binang, a Deputy Director, Legal Service for the FIRS.

The Judge held that the convicts failed woefully to counter the evidence adduced by the six witnesses of the prosecution when given the opportunity to offer their defense.

At the time of this report, the 1st convict, Mohammed Adamu had been led to Kuje prison in Abuja while the process for release of the 2nd convict was being intensified by his counsel, Auwal Ibrahim. Culled: Punch.

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