FERMA Staff Jailed Over N60m Theft

Nkereuwem Cosmas

A Sokoto State High Court has sentenced a staff of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Anthony Mbanefo, to two years imprisonment for embezzling N60 million approved for the repairs of two federal roads in Sokoto State.

Mr. Mbanefo who was charged before Justice Bello Duwale by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was accused of holding private interest in a Federal Government contract, which led to the diversion of the money.

ICPC in a 4-count charge said his actions violated the provisions of sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The Commission told the court that the crime was committed in the months of September and October, 2013, when Mbanefo, who was a Senior Technical Officer 1, collected N20 million on three different occasions from contractors handling the road repair projects.

He was said to have collected N40 million from Crest Code Nigeria Limited and N20 million from Dewlands International Limited, the companies handling the road projects.

The money was meant for the emergency maintenance repairs of Jabo-Kajiji Kummi and Rimawa-Sabon Birni roads, all in Sokoto State.

Before the ruling, his counsel, Mr. Y. Gwazawa, pleaded with the court to show mercy to his client for being a first offender.

Justice Duwale, in his ruling, sentenced the accused to two years imprisonment without an option of fine.

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