Army Court Martial sends General to prison, orders refund of stolen N3bn


By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Army Special Court Martial on Tuesday, convicted a former Group Managing Director of Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL), Maj.-Gen. Umaru Mohammed to seven years imprisonment.

The court also ordered the convicted senior officer to refund 2.17 million dollars and N1.06 billion being amount of monies he stole, back to  the company’s coffers.

Pronouncing the sentence, the President of the court, Maj.-Gen. James Myam, said the officer was found guilty on 14 of the 18 count charges brought against him.

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Myam said the sentence was based on the provisions of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and section 174 of the Armed Forces Act cap  20 Laws, 2004.

According to him, the verdict was made after due consideration of the plea of mitigation by the defence counsel.

“These sentences of this special court martial are all to run concurrently and are subject to the confirmation of the confirming authority.

“This sentence is dated this day, the 10th of October 2023 and the court is hereby adjourned Sine die,” he said.

Myam said that on count one which borders on stealing, Mohammed was found guilty and will spend five years in prison and refund 1.04 million dollars back to NAPL.

The court also found the officer guilty on count two and sentenced him to five years imprisonment, in addition to paying back the sum of $400,800 to NAPL.

On count three, Mohammed was sentenced to five years imprisonment and to refund the sum of $85,400 while count four also attracted five years imprisonment with an order to pay back the sum of $35,300.

On count five, the former NAPL boss was sentenced to five years imprisonment with an order to pay back the sum of $55,500 to the NAPL.

Count six also attracted five years imprisonment with an order pay back the sum of $46,500.

The court however discharged and acquitted him of the charge in count 7, but sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on count eight, while the remaining charges he was convicted of, attracted five and two years imprisonment.

The defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), citing Section 157 of the Armed Forces Act, prayed the court to move his client to a custodial centre instead of military detention facility, which the court rejected.

Ojo also prayed that the sentence should run from the day of the court’s pronouncement.

On whether he will appeal the judgment, Ojo said he will consult his client on that.

“If he tells us tomorrow or after the confirmation that he is not satisfied with the findings and sentence, then we must carry out his instruction to appeal if he so instructs us, the decision is his,” he added. (NAN) 

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