Law News
Court jails probate registrar three years for fraud

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has convicted and sentenced a court registrar in the probate division of the court, Mrs. Bukola Adeosun, to a three-year jail term for defrauding various court users and diverting government’s fund to her private use.

Adeosun, alongside another official of the probate, Mrs. Funmilayo Kazeem, had been charged before Justice Latifa Okunnu, for swindling users of the court and the government of about N1, 114,000.

Okunnu, in a judgment delivered on Monday, set Kazeem free, but convicted and sentenced Adeosun to a three-year jail term on three counts of conspiracy, stealing and alteration of documents.

The judge held that the prosecution failed to prove that Kazeem conspired with Adeosun to commit the fraud, as there was no documented evidence to back the allegation.

She, however, said the prosecution was able to prove its case against Adeosun beyond reasonable doubt, in spite of the convict’s denial and argument that she only admitted the crime in her statement during investigation under duress.

“The first defendant stole the money belonging to the Lagos State Government,” Okunnu said.

The prosecution, in its charge against the convict, said Adeosun collected various sums of money amounting to N1.1m from different people, while issuing them original government receipts, but did not remit the fund into the government coffers.

Adeosun was accused of collecting various sums of money ranging from N150, 000 to N4, 0000 by hand and issued receipts for same, in violation of the official directive that all sums above N2, 000, which is the court’s official threshold, should be paid through the bank.

The fraud, according to the prosecution, was committed between June and August, 2008.

The prosecution had said the offence attracted seven years imprisonment, but Okunnu sentenced Adeosun to three years imprisonment.

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