A High Court sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, has sentenced a serving Deputy Director of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Ahmad Balarabe, to 14-year imprisonment, for defrauding job seekers of money worth N7million.
This was contained in a statement by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and made available to SaharaReporters on Tuesday.
The anti-graft commission, ICPC, had earlier filed a suit against Balarabe, before Justice Bello Shinkafi.
He was first then arraigned in September 2018 on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining by pretence, an allegation to which he pleaded not guilty, thereby setting the tone for the lengthy trial.
The ICPC prosecutor, Mashkur Salisu, had told the court that, “Balarabe, while serving as the Coordinator, Sokoto and Zamfara States for FCC in 2017, collected N7million from some job seekers with the promise to get them employment with the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State.”
Salisu also informed the court that, “the said action of the convict was in contravention of Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”
In his ruling, Justice Shinkafi said that the trial had confirmed their case beyond reasonable doubt and that the action of the convict was “despicable and unbecoming of a public servant”.
Nigeria Going Nowhere Until Education Is Given Priority In National Budget, Varsity Don Says
A university lecturer, Dr Peter Osimiri, has said that the currently devastating state of Nigerian education will not improve until the Federal Government take investments in education as capital expenditure.
Osimiri, who is a lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Lagos, made this known in a public lecture delivered at the grand finale of the 40th anniversary of Humani Alaga High School in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The don, while speaking on the theme, “Falling Standard of Education in Nigeria: Who is to blame” berated the depressing share of the national budget given to the education sector.
He lamented that the degrading features of deplorable school facilities, poor funding of researches and ill-equipped educators bedevilled the academic sector at all levels in the country.
Osimiri said, “The Nigerian government at all levels has not taken education to be a top priority. Regrettably, our politicians keep feeding education with crumbs from the national budget. This cannot help us. This cannot help the country. If this persists, the standard of education will keep falling.
“Without education, the economy will be deteriorating. Education evokes thinking, which in turn drives the economy with innovations. Until we see education as capital expenditure, we are going nowhere.”
Also present at the occasion was the Local Inspector of Education of the Ibadan North Local Government, Mrs Foluke Ogunsiji.
In her speech, Mrs Ogunsiji commended the old students’ association of the school for their kind and courageous gestures towards revamping the school. She also assured that the Oyo State Government under Governor Seyi Makinde would ensure the proper funding of education.