Nigeria-supreme-court

The Registrar of a Magistrate Court in Enugu State, Anikwu Ambrose

Ifesinachi, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment without an

option of fine for demanding bribe in the course of discharging his

official duties.

In case which had suffered series of adjournments since it was filed

by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2010 at the

instance of the defence, Justice A. A. Nwobodo sent Ifesinachi to

prison for contravening section 10 (a) (ii) of the ICPC Act of 2000.

ICPC had in the charge sheet filed before the court alleged that

Ifesinachi had on June 2010, whilst being the clerk of the Magistrate

Court in Awgu received the sum of N80,000 from one Arukwe Charles

purportedly for Chief Magistrate J.S Ede of the same Magistrate Court

before the warrant of release could be processed to effect the release

of one Maduabuchi Oji from prison custody.

Ifesinachi, according to ICPC, demanded the bribe of N80, 000.00 from

the relation of a suspect before he would process the warrant of

release of the suspect who was in custody for about two years.

After persistent demand, the relation approached ICPC and the

Commission gave him marked money. As soon as the accused collected the

money from the relation, he was arrested by the operatives of the

ICPC.

Consequently, the accused was charged on two counts for demanding and

receiving bribe under the ICPC Act in the High Court of Enugu.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution called three witnesses and

tendered some exhibits while the accused gave evidence without calling

any witness. In his defence, he claimed to have collected the money on

behalf of the complainants whom he did not call as a witness.

At the close of the case, ICPC filed their final written address on

29th January 2014 which was adopted.

In the judgment of the Court, the Accused was discharged on Count 1

but was convicted on count 2 and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment

without option of fine.

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