John Yusuf, the pension thief who five years ago, was given a slap on the wrist by Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, for stealing N32.8billion police pension money, has finally gotten his deserved sanctions.
The Court of Appeal Abuja Division on Wednesday jailed him six years and also asked him to refund N22.9billion.
Justice Talba had sentenced him to two years in jail, with the option of paying a fine of N750,000.
The judgment triggered national outrage. The ruling by the appellate court was the climax of the appeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which on April 26, 2013 approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
The five grounds of the appeal, bordered on the exercise of discretion of the Judge in imposing sentence on the respondent who pleaded guilty to the three count charge, in which he admitted converting an aggregate sum of over N24 billion of Police Pension fund into his personal use.
The EFCC asked the Appeal Court to decide “whether the trial judge exercised his discretion judicially and judiciously when having convicted the respondent of a three count charge of conversion of over N3billion contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code, His Lordship imposed two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250, 000 on each of the three counts”.
Yusuf’s lawyers on 10 June 2015 raised a preliminary objection on the competence of the appeal for which they argued that the notice of appeal was filed outside the mandatory 90 days and therefore in contravention of s. 24(2)(b) of the Court of Appeal Act, 2010 (as Amended) and therefore urged the Court to dismiss the appeal.