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Ex Council Boss Escapes Harsher Punishment From Appeal Court On Corruption

Judicial iroko

Former Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government, Chief Callistus Nwawolo narrowly escaped a harsher punishment from the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, Edo State for corruption for which he had earlier been jailed three years by the lower court.
The Court of Appeal, in an unanimous judgment read by Justice Inn Salauwa on behalf of others, dismissed the appeal by the former Chairman, and contended that the prosecution had proved the allegation of corruption against him beyond reasonable doubt.
The Court blamed the trial judge at the lower court, Justice G. B Briki- Okolosi for giving the Chairman an option of fine on the basis that Section 12 of the ICPC Act which he contravened, and upon which he was tried and convicted, did not allow the trial judge any discretion to impose a fine.
The former chairman was charged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for corruption, but he went on to challenge his conviction which was handed to him on 9 August 2007 by the Delta state High Court Of Justice.
The former Chairman was sentenced last year by the court to a 3-year imprisonment term or payment of a fine of N300,000 for corrupt enrichment through a contract he awarded while in office.
ICPC had in 2004 arraigned the former Chairman before High Court Of Justice, Delta State in Kwale for acquiring interest in a contract awarded by his office during his tenure and in the process conferred corrupt advantage on one of his relations who executed the contract, contrary to section 12 & 19 of the ICPC Act.
Callistus, not satisfied with the judgment, which was considered as even mild, proceeded to file an appeal to challenge the Court’s decision. [myad]

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