Bribery: Court jails Chinese nationals for offering N50m cash to EFCC official


The court of appeal in Sokoto has sentenced two Chinese
nationals, Meng Wei Kun and Xu Kuai, to six years imprisonment for fraud.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
arraigned the convicts before a federal high court in Sokoto on a three-count
charge bordering on conspiracy, money laundering, and attempted bribery to the
tune of N50 million.


The trial court had struck out the charges against the


However, delivering judgment in the appeal filed by the EFCC
on Friday, the court of appeal led by Abubakar Talba, found the respondents
guilty of two out of the three counts.


The judge said “the respondents are charged with conspiracy
and making a cash payment in excess of the threshold provided by the Money
Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 ( as amended in 2012) to Abdullahi Lawal (then
zonal head of EFCC Sokoto) which was established beyond reasonable doubt before
the lower Court but surprisingly the trial Judge somersaulted in his judgement
and recanted”.


Talba held that the EFCC was able to prove the charges
beyond a reasonable doubt.


 “I regret to say that
the judgment is like a fiction by the trial judge who created doubts in his
mind while discharging his responsibilities,” the judge said.


“Without doubt, the trial judge grossly misconceived that no
offence was committed.


“Conspiracy is a distinct offence even if the commission of
the actual offence is aborted, and in the instant case there exists positive
cogent inescapable evidence the offence was committed.


“The respondents are Chinese and an offence of this gravity
in their home country attracts the death penalty yet here they are corrupting
our country.


“The courts of the federal republic of Nigeria will not
condone corruption in any way. As President Muhammadu Buhari has said, “if we
don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”


The court held that the appeal was “immensely meritorious”
and convicted and sentenced the Chinese nationals to three years on each of the
two counts.


However, each of the convicts were given an option of N10
million fine on each count.



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