2 Chinese Nationals Bag 12 Years Jail Term In Sokoto

Two Chinese nationals, Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Kuai, have been convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment for each of the two count charge for offences of conspiracy, money laundering and attempted bribery to the tune of N50 million brought against them by the Sokoto Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Consequently, each of the convicted persons will spend six years in jail.

The judgement was sequel to EFCC’s appeal brought against the judgment of the Federal High Court Sokoto, which earlier discharged and acquitted the accused persons on all the three count charge.

Delivering the unanimous judgement on Friday, Justice Abubakar Mahmud Talba of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, berated the Respondents for trying to frustrate the appeal through maneuverings, stating that, “gone are the days of technicalities in law.”

He further eemphasised that going forward, Courts must allow cases to be heard on their merits.

Justice Talba further explained that the EFCC had proven counts one and two of the three count charge before the Federal High Court beyond reasonable doubt but agreed with the lower Court on count three and accordingly struck it out because a similar charge is pending before the State High Court of Justice.

According to Justice Talba, “the Respondents are charged with conspiracy and making a cash payment in excess of the threshold provided by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended in 2012 to Abdullahi Lawal (then zonal head of EFCC Sokoto) which was established beyond reasonable doubt before the lower Court. But surprisingly, the trial Judge summersaulted in his judgement and recanted.”

While he maintained that the appeal is “immensely meritorious”, the Appellate Court Judge consequently convicted and sentenced the Chinese nationals to three years on each of the two counts with an option of N10 million fine each on each count.

Justice Talba declared, “before I draw the curtain, the Respondents are Chinese and an offence of this gravity in their home country attracts the death penalty, yet here they are corrupting our country. The courts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not condone corruption in any way.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *