Ministry of Justice Lawyer Bags 18 months imprisonment for demanding N7m to ‘kill’ case

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The Maiduguri Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, secured an 18-months prison sentence of Zanna Dalhatu without an option of fine before Justice Umaru Fadawu of the Borno State High Court, Maiduguri.

Mr Dalhatu, a prosecuting counsel with the Federal State Ministry of Justice, Maiduguri Office was arraigned on January 10, 2019 and pleaded not guilty to a one-count charge by the commission.

His journey to prison started when he demanded for N7million bribe and also attempted to obtain the said sum from Shuaibu Mohammed, the chief accountant of Borno State Road Maintenance Agency, BORMA, to facilitate the termination of a case against the staff of the agency. He was trailed and arrested in the processing of collecting the bribe sum.

While the EFCC presented three witnesses to prove its case against him, the defence counsel, Zanna Hamza opted for a “no case submission,” which the court threw out and ordered that he opened his defence.

Not satisfied with the ruling, the defendant approached the Appeal Court, Jos Division, which against his wish, upheld the Borno State High Court’s ruling on the no case submission.

Upon amending the charge by the prosecution, he pleaded guilty and was convicted and sentenced accordingly.

The amended charge reads: “That you, Zanna Dalhatu, while being a prosecuting counsel with the Federal Ministry of Justice, sometime in November 2018 in Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, attempted to obtain the sum of N7,000,000.00 (Seven Million Naira) only, from one Shuaibu Mohammed, the Chief Accountant of Borno State Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA) as gratification to induce by illegal means, the team of investigators attached to Economic Governance Section (E.G) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to terminate a criminal case pending with the said Commission against some staff of Borno State Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 116 of the Borno State Penal Code Laws Cap. 102 and punishable under the same section.”

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