Oluremi Olayinka, a female member of staff of an eatery has been sentenced to 266 years imprisonment by Justice A. A. Akinyemi of the Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta, for stealing her employer’s N8m.
It is however mind-boggling that a Nigerian court would pass such a sentence whereas public servants who have been convicted by other courts also at the behest of the same Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (that charged Olayinka to court) for stealing billions of Naira belonging to tax payers are still walking free. Some will soon be sworn in as lawmakers in different parts of the country.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Wednesday that the court found Olayinka guilty on all the 34 counts brought against her. He said the presiding judge sentenced Olayinka to seven years on each of the 30 counts and an additional 14 years on four other counts.
He said the sentences would run concurrently, which means that Olayinka would spend only seven years in prison having contravened ‘sections 390(6)(7)(8), 467 and 468 respectively of the Criminal Code, Cap 29, Law of Ogun State.’
Olayinka was arraigned on May 13, 2014 by the EFCC in response to a petition brought against her. She was also ordered by Justice Akinyemi to refund the money she stole.”
Although Olayinka had pleaded not guilty to the charges against her when she was arraigned, EFCC had presented four witnesses and 16 exhibits to prove the case against her.
It is understood that EFCC can’t jail anyone by itself but between our courts and intelligence forces, a lot more would be achieved jailing billionaire fraudsters than eatery thieves – which by the way should be thankful for getting only seven years in the den with other robbers.
(Additional reports from THE PUNCH)