A former commissioner for agriculture in Kogi State, Zacchaeus Atte, has been convicted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, over misappropriation of funds.
The ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said Mr Atte was convicted on corruption charges by the state High Court sitting in Okene, presided over by Justice J.J Majebi.
According to Okoduwa, Mr Atte was found guilty on 7 out of the 11 counts charges brought against him by ICPC.
She further explained that Atte, who is to serve a total of 19 years jail term, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment each on counts 1 and 3 without an option of fine.
Mrs Okoduwa said “Mr Atte collected the sum of N11,937,000 and N8,873,766 respectively meant for “the raising and distribution of Oil Palm Sprouted Nuts Seedlings” to cocoa farmers in Kogi State which he did not raise nor distribute.
According to the ICPC, it was an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 (ICPC Act).
“He was also sentenced on count 2, to five years imprisonment without an option of fine, “for receiving the sum of N350,000 being earmarked to defray the transportation costs of the farmers during the cocoa seedlings distribution exercise, which he failed to deliver.
“This is also an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the ICPC Act,” Mrs Okoduwa said.
“The former Commissioner was further sentenced to 1-year imprisonment each on counts 8 to 11 for “spending from the sum of N2,849,953 being amount earmarked for the purchase of office equipment.
“That which he called Statewide Sensitization Tour; visit to Lagos from Lokoja on issues of Power Tiller and Video Coverage” all contrary to and punishable under section 22(5) of the ICPC Act.”
Mrs Okoduwa said the trial judge justified the conviction of the defendant, saying that the ICPC legal team had proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.