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Corruption: Nigerian Politician Who Have Been to Prison

The Nigerian governance system has been characterized with all shades of corruption by high-ranking officials engaging in fraudulent practices and embezzlement of public funds. These Nigerian politicians have faced legal consequences for their involvement in corruption, leading to imprisonment. 

Beyond the sentences, these high-profile cases have shed light on the magnitude of the issue and the efforts to combat corruption within the country, reflecting the ongoing struggle to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance in Nigeria. In this discussion, we will look at some notable Nigerian politicians who have been convicted and imprisoned for their corrupt actions.

Uzor kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu stands as a notable figure and one of the Nigerian politicians who have faced imprisonment for his involvement in corruption. As a Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, he also serves as the Chief Whip of the Senate as well as served as Governor of Abia State.

The court found Uzor Kalu guilty of diverting state funds through a complex web of transactions, including fraudulent procurement of contracts, manipulation of financial records, and illegal transfers. Kalu was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court and sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud in 2019. He was convicted for defrauding the government of Abia State where he was a governor for 8 years using his company, Slok Nigeria Limited. 

However, in May 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that his trial was wrongly convicted and released him from prison while ordering a retrial. Having tried again, Kalu was released from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kuje in June 2020.

James ibori

James Onanefe Ibori was a former governor of Delta State, he was accused of stealing US$250 million from the Nigerian public purse in 2012. After the sentencing hearing, Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service central fraud group, said it would bid to confiscate the assets Ibori had acquired.

Ibori pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court, London. Ibori was released from prison in December 2016 after a court order. He served only 4 years out of the 13 years he was sentenced to.

Olabode George 

Olabode George faced charges of contract which arraigned him and four others on a 163 count-charge of conspiracy, disobedience to lawful order, abuse of office and alleged illegal award of contracts worth N84 billion during his tenure as the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). 

In 2009, Bode George was found guilty and sentenced to jail for 30 months. The judge found the defendants guilty on 47 out of the 68 counts which totalled  up to 28 years. The Supreme Court discharged the conviction of Bode George in 2013 with claims that the EFCC had no evidence that George intended to commit fraud at the NPA, and the charges of “contract splitting” were unknown to law.

Joshua Dariye

Joshua Chibi Dariye was convicted by the  Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja in 2018 on the charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds while he was the Governor of Plateau state and was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment. Having been arrested in London, England in 2004 with large sums of money, he was accused of stealing about $9m of public funds and money laundering.

Also, in 2007, EFCC discovered 23 counts of money laundering involving alleged diversion of about N1.126 billion Plateau State Government’s ecological funds against Dariye. His sentence was reduced to 10 years in 2018.

James Bala Ngilari

James Bala Ngilari was convicted of awarding a contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles at a cost of 167 million Naira ($548,891) without following due process. The former governor of Adamawa was found guilty of five of the 17 charges levelled against him in September 2016 by the EFCC and was sentenced to 5 years with no option in fine.

He was later acquitted and freed before he finished his sentence.

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