Court jailed magistrate for demanding bribe

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Magistrate Mohammed Balogun was sentenced to three years imprisonment by a FCT High Court, Maitama, for allegedly demanding gratification to influence judgment.

Justice Ishaq Bello who convicted Balogun on Thursday, however gave N500,000 option of fine.

The convict was charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, on a two-count bordering on demanding gratification.

Bello while delivering the judgment, said that the convict pleaded for leniency, claiming to be first time offender.

He also noted that the magistrate had suffered psychological distress because his family deserted him since the matter started.

“Considering the fact that he was entrusted with a mantle of authority as a chief magistrate to do justice to all manner of people without fear or favour.

“What he did is outright abuse and disregard of his oath of office and this is not a conduct expected of a judicial officer” he held.

The judge held that he acknowledged the position of the prosecution that the convict is a first time offender.

“Nevertheless, I hereby sentence the convict to a three-year period of imprisonment or to pay a fine of N500, 000.”

The ICPC alleged that Balogun on September 21, 2003, demanded from one Dr. Isidore Nnadi, N100, 000 in order to influence the judgment of his two cases pending in his court in his favour.

The offence is contrary to Section 10 (1) and (2) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The ICPC also alleged that Balogun collected from Nnadi N50,000 to influence the judgment in his favour.

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Marvin Duru is a blogger, web developer and Internet entrepreneur. He is the Founder of NewsAfriq and currently operates as its chairman and Administrator. He is a native of Rivers State, Nigeria.

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