A Zamfara State High Court sitting in Gusau has sentenced a serving member of the State’s House of Assembly, Lawali Dogonkade, to four years imprisonment over N31 million fraud.
Mr Dogonkade who was arraigned Thursday by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a four-count charge bordering on conferring corrupt advantage on himself admitted guilt before Justice Bello Shinkafi, thereby leading to his immediate conviction by the court.
The convict, representing Kauran-Namoda Local Government in the Zamfara State House of Assembly, was accused of using his position to confer corrupt advantage upon himself in a N31,290,000 contract meant for the supply of medical equipment to the state government in violation of Sections 10, 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
Counsel to ICPC, Mashkur Salisu, in one of the counts told the court that the convict received N4.5 million from the Managing Director of Madaci Pharmacy, Hamisu Jibril, as a percentage for the supply of medical equipment contract awarded by the state government.
His counsel, Abubakar Junaidu, had earlier argued on the propriety of the charge before the court saying that the accused had been charged one time before the Federal High Court in Gusau by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). But the trial judge overruled his argument and shortly after, the convict entered into a guilty plea.
Mr Junaidu then pleaded with the court to be lenient with his client considering the fact that he was a first time offender with a large family and dependents who solely rely on him for their livelihood.
Following his guilty plea, the counsel to the Commission invited the court to convict him in line with the provisions of 274 (2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The court thereupon convicted the accused person as charged and sentenced him to four years imprisonment or payment of fine of N30,000 on each of the counts totalling N120,000.