Justice S. C. Amadi of the Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, has convicted and sentenced Hussaini Abubakar, a former official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to a one-year imprisonment for stealing exhibit.

Delivering judgement on Wednesday, Amadi gave Abubakar an option of fine of N150,000.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 383 (1) and punishable under Section 390 of the Criminal Code CAP 37 vol. II Laws of Rives State of Nigeria, 1999.

The defendant, the Acting Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Tony Orilade, said in a statement yesterday, was arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the commission on a three-count charge, bordering on stealing.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Hussaina Abubakar, in 2017 at Port Harcourt  in the Port Harcourt Judicial Division did fraudulently steal an exhibit from the Forensic Section of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), an exhibit which you knew was recovered in the course of investigation to wit: One Lenevo S60-A (daul sim)  with serial number: HBOGOHAQ with IME slot number: 1-866059026043140, worth N18,000 belonging to one Chuku Nelson Nyegam and thereby committed an offence.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to all the charges, prompting prosecution counsel, N. A. Dodo, to urge the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

However, the defence counsel, M. M. Suleiman, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, having been found to be a first time offender and with no previous conviction record, and taking into consideration that the defendant was an orphan, a married man, a father of a 15-month-old baby and a breadwinner of his family.