By Hussaini Hammangabdo Yola
The Justice Danladi Mohammed of Yola High Court IV had jailed, former Executive Secretary Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board Bishop Jinga Mayo to seven year imprisonment without option or fine for conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence form the board.
Mayo was sentenced along with former cashier of the board, Rhoda Sampson for the same jail term.
They were convicted for offences conducted between August to December 2016 when Mayo was the Executive Secretary of the board.
Delivering the judgement brought by EFCC against Dr Jinga Mayo and three others, the judge convicted and sentenced the first and the fourth dependents to seven years imprisonment without option of fine after proving the evidence beyond reasonable doubt and diligent scrutiny and substantial evidence by 11 witnesses.
EFCC brought 9 count charges against the quartet but the suit was later amended to 10 count charges bothering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, inflation, misappropriation, forgery, diversion of funds and non declaration of assets.
Justice Mohammed also acquited the second and third respondents respectively as he could not establish any case of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence against them.
On count 5 the first dependent was sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option of N100,000 fine while on count 8 and 9 he was sentenced to two years imprisonment or an option of 100,000 fine while on count 10, the first dependent was sentenced to five year imprisonment without option of fine.
However, on count two the two convicts are to refund the sum of N84,948,600 while on count 3 the first dependent will refund N50,000 deposit made by each of the christian pilgrims who made upgraded their BTA from $500 to $750 as can be seen from the board’s statement amounting to the sum of N26,348,750.
On count four the first respondent will return the sum of N15,690,000 to Adamawa State government while on count 6 he is to refund N2,540,760 to four Christian pilgrims who deposited the funds to enable them perform the spiritual exercise but unfortunately the monies were diverted by the ex-executive secretary.
The judge also demands the first respondent to return the sum of N1.5m being the balance of N3.5m meant for medical bill of the pilgrims.
However going by the declaration of the judge, all the two convicts will serve only 7 year jail term each as the sentences are to run concurrently.
Counsels to the defendants Livinus Ayuba and U.D Silas urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
While urging for mercy for his client, counsel to the first respondent Ayuba said his client needs prerogative of mercy in consideration of the fact that he is currently serving a jail term and also has family to cater for.