By Patience Dombin, Jos
A federal high court sitting in Jos, Plateau state capital, has sentenced the former minister of water resources, Sarah Ochekpe to six years imprisonment.
Ochekpe served as minister in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In 2018, Ochekpe, alongside former acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau, Raymond Dabo and coordinator of the Goodluck Johnathan campaign in the state, Leo Jatau, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly collecting N450 million from Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former petroleum resources minister in 2015.
They were alleged to have received N450million from Alison-Madueke to influence the electorate and the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
In the judgment delivered on Tuesday, the presiding judge, Justice Musa Kurna, found the accused persons guilty.
The EFCC in a statement issued after the judgment by Wilson Uwujaren, its spokesman said: “The defendants were convicted on count one, bordering on conspiracy to accept cash payment above threshold under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2012 (as amended) and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira) fine each.
“On count two, the defendants were convicted and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment with an option of N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) fine each.
The sentences are to run consecutively.
“The Court discharged and acquitted them on count three which borders on retention of funds.”
This report was updated following details of the judgment in a statement issued by the EFCC.