Tuesday 22 February 2022


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

A former Nigerian Minister of Water Resource, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe has been sentenced to 6 Months imprisonment by a Federal High Court (Jos Division) for withdrawing N450 million from Fidelity Bank in 2015, above legal limits set by Law and the transaction not passing through Financial Institution.

The Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Musa Kurya, who handed down the sentence yesterday also said, he agreed with the charge of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), which prosecuted the case against the convicts, saying that, Sarah Ochekpe, Raymond Dabo and one Evangelist Leo, conspired to violate the Nigerian Financial Regulations/Law, when they met and agreed to go to Fidelity Bank to execute the withdrawal of the N450 million.

Hon. Justice Kurya said, “They are guilty as charged”.

However, the Judge discharged and acquitted them on the 3rd count, which stated that the money after withdrawal ended in the custody of the Defendants.

According to the Judge, the EFCC and the Counsel to the Defendants have proven that the money was taken to the final beneficiaries with the aid of the Bank’s Bullion Van and secured by Nigerian and Bank security officers.

Justice Musa Kurya, However frowned and agreed with the Defense Counsels that, it was wrong not to have brought CBN, Fidelity Bank, among others, as Defendants in the matter.

Owing to appeals from the Defense Counsels, S. Oyawole (Esq) for the 1st Defendant, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe  and Gyang Zi (Esq) for the 2nd  and 3rd Defendants that, the Court should temper Justice with Mercy since the defendants are “first time offenders”, the Court sentence each of the Defendants to 3 month each for each of the two counts and to run “Consecutively”.

The Court added that, their imprisonment would start immediately after the Judgment, at the Jos Prison (Correction Center), but with an option of N1 million fine.


As at the time of writing the report the three convicts and their Counsels were seen making frantic efforts to settle the fine in order to avoid the waiting Blackmaria.

No comments:

Post a Comment