A retired Appeal Court judge, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya, has been arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly demanding a N200 million bribe in exchange for a favourable judgment.
The case for which the judge is said to have made the bribery request is a National Assembly election matter pending before the Imo State Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal.
The commission said the offence violates Section 10 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and was purportedly committed in 2015.
The retired Justice was said to have asked one Orji, who was the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance for the Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency, to give him N200 million to enable him to influence the court’s decision in his favour.
Orji had approached the Court of Appeal, Imo State Division, to seek redress in a case involving an alleged inflation of the result of election in the Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, which he had earlier lost to his opponent, Mr. Nkole Ndukwe, at the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.
It was alleged that the retired judge promised the appellant of getting a favourable judgment from the court upon the payment of the money.
ICPC however said that “Justice Tsamiya has since been granted bail by the commission upon the fulfillment of his bail conditions even as investigation continues.”
Also, the ICPC said that it has started investigating issues involving the 24,325 government properties reportedly sold off to government officials under the monetisation policy of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Announcing this in a statement the commission released through its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, it said that many people who purchased government properties were yet to make full payment and that some of them have been in the act of secretly renting the properties to private citizens.
According to ICPC, many of these offenders happen to come from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Housing Authority.
“In recent times, the ICPC has been inundated with petitions from patriotic Nigerians, drawing the attention of the commission to allegations of widespread abuse of the policy by beneficiaries and some government workers.
“The commission, while acting on the petitions, discovered through preliminary investigation that a number of civil servants in the OHCSF, who benefited from the policy had not paid for the houses since 2005. While some had completely defaulted, others owe the government a sizeable amount of the money.
“The investigation further revealed that 32,305 houses were captured by the committee on the sale of government properties while 24,345 were eventually sold to beneficiaries.
“However, civil servants in some government agencies, notably OHSCF and the Federal Housing Authority, have allegedly turned the policy into a shoddy business with the aim of defrauding the Federal Government.
“The investigation has so far yielded fruitful result with the recovery of N18, 031,000 from some civil servants and a host of companies including Montgomery & Campbell Ltd. and SICCONS, which has been paid into the coffers of the government,” the statement read in part.
The commission has therefore vowed to ensure that anyone found to have contravened the law must be prosecuted upon conclusion of the investigation.
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