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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Retired Army general to spend seven years behind bars for embezzlement

The court ordered Mohammed to pay back N3.7 billion

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A Nigerian Army special court martial in Abuja has convicted former Group Managing Director of Nigerian Army Properties Limited, Maj. Gen. Umaru Mohammed, on corruption charges and sentenced him to seven years in prison. The military court found Mohammed guilty on 14 counts, including forgery, misappropriation of funds, and conspiracy.

The court, led by Maj. Gen. James Myam, ordered Mohammed to pay back $2,178,900 (equivalent to N3.7 billion when converted to Naira at N1000 per dollar). The convicted official was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for each of the 14 counts, with the sentences running concurrently. The verdict is subject to confirmation by the authorities.

Mohammed, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, was convicted on counts related to forgery, misappropriation of funds, and other financial misconduct. The court martial, in its judgment, detailed the amounts to be repaid to Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL) for each count, ranging from $35,300 to $430,800.

In addition to the prison sentence and financial restitution, Mohammed’s lawyer, Lekan Ojo (SAN), made an oral application citing Section 157 of the Armed Forces Act, requesting the court to move his client to a custodial center rather than an Army detention facility. However, the court rejected the application.

This high-profile conviction underscores ongoing efforts in Nigeria to combat corruption within the military and government agencies. The case serves as a notable example of accountability measures being taken to address financial misconduct and malfeasance in the country.

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