A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has jailed two whistleblowers Dominic Okem and Chukwunonso Igweonu for giving misleading and false information to the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency in a statement via @officialEFCC, its official Twitter handle on Monday said the false whistleblowers were served a 2-months jail term with an option of N100,000 each by Justice I. M. Sani.
The convicts were arraigned after telling the EFCC they saw a huge sum of money in a house, located at Enu-Aqua in Cross River State. However, operatives of the anti-graft agency said nothing incriminating was found when they instituted a search on the property.
Launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the whistle-blowing policy is an anti-corruption programme that encourages people to voluntarily disclose information about fraud, bribery, looted government funds, financial misconduct, and other forms of corruption or theft in government parastatals
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In the two-count charges brought before the court, the anti-graft agency accused the two whistleblowers of conspiring to provide false information.
“That you Dominic Okem and Chukwunonso Igweonu on or about the 22nd Day of January, 2021 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire between yourselves to give false information to officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to wit: huge fund were found at Enu/Akwu Street, Federal Housing Estate, in Calabar Cross Rivers State which information turned out to be false, untrue/misleading and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 39 (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004,” one of the charges read.
The defence counsel however pleaded with the court to serve the defendants a light sentence as they were only trying to carry out their civic responsibility in line with the whistleblowing policy.
They were convicted and sentenced after they pleaded guilty to two-count charges bordering on giving false information.
Following their “guilty” plea, F. O. Amama the prosecution counsel prayed the court to convict and sentence the defendants accordingly.
In his judgment, Justice Sani found Messrs Okem and Igweonu guilty as charged and convicted and sentenced them to two months imprisonment, with an option of fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) each.
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