Convicted Commissioner, 15 others appeal judgement, remain in prison


The commissioner was sentenced to a 14-month jail term.

The Federal Commissioner representing Kogi at the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Ignatius Ahmodu, who was sentenced to 14-month jail term with 15 others, has appealed against the judgment.

The counsel to the appellant and the other convicts, John Adele, who said this on Wednesday in Lokoja, the state capital, said he filed the Notice of Appeal on behalf of the appellants at the Lokoja High Court.

Mr. Adele said he had also filed their motion for bail pending the determination of the appeal by the court.

A Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court presided over by Rachael Omajali, in her judgment on Monday, said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt in a land dispute.

The convicts were jailed after they were found guilty on a five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, trespass, intimidation, disturbance of public peace, unlawful assembly, and engaging in witchcraft contrary to various sections of the Penal Code.

They were said to have illegally trespassed into the land of one Charles Iduh of Umuochina village, Avurugo in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government of Kogi and criminally took possession of the land and economic trees.

The commissioner, who was contending the ownership of the land, was said to have mobilised and led the other convicts to Mr. Iduh’s house, criminally intimidated him, and thereafter embarked on a rampage, disturbing public peace.

In the judgment, which took five hours to deliver, Mr. Omajali said that the volume of evidence before her pointed to the fact that the land in question belonged to Mr. Iduh.

Mr. Adele described the judgment as “a travesty of justice and mockery of judicial process which cannot stand the test of time.”

He said that his clients were totally dissatisfied with the judgment adding that they were convicted for statements they never made as the Investigating Police Officer did not carry out the required investigation.

Mr. Adele also claimed that the magistrate pronounced the convict as first offenders and yet, went ahead to convict them without an option of fine, adding that he was sure the appeal would succeed.

The prosecuting counsel in the case, Badama Kadir, confirmed that he had received the Notice of Appeal.

He maintained that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“In our view, the judgment portrayed what actually happened in the course of trial. Justice has been done to the state and the victims,” he declared.

The commissioner is presently in custody at Medium Security Prison, Kabba, with some of the convicts.

The other convicts were put in Okene and Dekina prisons.


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