Justice Angela Otaluka of FCT High Court Apo on Monday sentenced a 29-year old whistleblower, James Urah, to two years in prison for giving false information to mislead the ICPC.
The Judge, however, noted that the convict had spent two years in custody and as such, has been deemed to have served his sentence.
The convict was charged to court in 2017 on a two-count charge of knowingly providing false information and giving a false name. He was prosecuted by The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The ICPC Counsel, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, told the court that sometime in September 2017, Urah gave false information concerning a Senator who hid money on his farm. The convict was said to have claimed that he had personal knowledge of the transfer of a huge sum of money from Abuja to a poultry farm in Niger by his boss.
Akponimisingha further informed the court that Urah gave his name as John Godwin which was later realised to be a false name. Although the convict had pleaded not guilty to the charge, the case suffered some setbacks and adjournments as he had no legal representation for several months while he was in custody.
The trial, however, subsequently commenced after a lawyer was provided for the convict from the Karina Tunyan & Co.
Defence Counsel, Isioma Kelubia, however, argued that the law on which the convict was arraigned is repealed laws. She argued that the laws had been struck out from the laws of ICPC.
In her judgment, Otaluka, however, dismissed the claim by saying that as long as the elements of the crime are contained in the constitution, the charges can stand.
After listening to a very brief allocutus (plea for mercy) by defence counsel who urged the court to temper justice with mercy as he was a first time offender, the court sentenced him accordingly.