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Court jails APC chieftain 1-year for vote buying in Lagos

Court jails APC chieftain 1-year for vote buying in Lagos

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced Wahab Hammed, a ward Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Surulere Local Government Area of the state, to a one-year jail term or in the alternative a fine of N1m.

Justice Ismail Ijelu sentenced the defendant after convicting him on a two-count charge of conspiracy and bribery.

At his arraignment on Wednesday, the EFCC Prosecutor, Samuel Daji, told the court that on February 25, 2023, the defendant conspired with one Segun Ijitola (who is still at large), to corruptly pay bribe to voters during the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

Daji said that the defendant committed the offence at Unit 28, Gbaja Girls Junior High School, in Surulere.

The offences contravene the provision of Sections 121 (1) and (5); 121 (1) and 1 (3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The defendant pleaded guilty and the court subsequently adjourned till Thursday, Dec. 7th to enable the prosecution counsel to review the facts of the case preparatory to conviction and sentencing.

At the proceedings on Thursday, the EFCC counsel, Daji, tendered in court the statement of the review of the prosecution’s facts against the defendant.

Daji also told the court that, “The EFCC officers while on election monitoring duties during the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Election held on the 25th February 2023, received an intelligence report that certain individuals were involved in vote buying and bribery at Polling Unit 28 located at Gbaja Girls High School, Surulere, Lagos.

“After the receipt of the intelligence, the operatives of EFCC who were on election monitoring duties were dispatched to the venue.

“On sighting the operatives, the voters involved in vote buying took to their heels but the defendant was arrested with the sum of N121,000 in N500 denominations.

“He was brought to the EFCC’s Ikoyi office with the exhibit. When he was interviewed, he stated that he is a ward leader of APC in Unit F3 in Surulere, Lagos and he confessed that the money was given to him by one Hon. Segun Ijitola who is a Senior Special Assistant to Chairman Surulere Local Government.

“He admitted that he had shared part of the money to those who ran away and it was to bribe the voters to vote for his party, APC.

“He also admitted that he had spent part of the money. He made voluntary statements of at least 2 pages where he admitted these facts. He also admitted that he is ready to forfeit the sum found with him to the Federal Government being proceeds of criminal activities”.

The court admitted the defendant’s statements as evidence and also admitted as exhibit, the money recovered from him.

The Prosecutor also urged the court to accept the facts as presented, convict the defendant accordingly and order the forfeiture of the exhibit to the Federal Government for being proceeds of crime.

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