A Special Court Martial sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, October 10, sentenced Maj.-Gen. Umaru Mohammed to seven years imprisonment.
The General was convicted and sentenced for stealing $2,178,900 and N1.65 billion belonging to the Nigerian Army Property Limited (NAPL) when he served at its Group Managing Director.
The court ordered the convicted senior officer to refund monies he stole, back to the company’s coffers.
The eight-man panel led by Maj.-Gen. James Myam at its sitting on Tuesday found Gen. Mohammed guilty of 14 of the 18 count charges brought against him before the court.
The charges border on forgery, conspiracy, theft and misappropriation of funds.
He had earlier pleaded non-guilty to all the charges.
The court-martial in its judgement jailed the senior officer for two, five and seven years depending on the offences.
The sentences, according to the panel, are to run concurrently.
Pronouncing the sentence, the President of the court, Maj.-Gen. Myam, said the officer was found guilty on 14 of the 18 count charges brought against him.
Myam said the sentence was based on the provisions of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and section 174 of the Armed Forces Act cap 20 Laws, 2004.
According to him, the verdict was made after due consideration of the plea of mitigation by the defence counsel.
“These sentences of this special court martial are all to run concurrently and are subject to the confirmation of the confirming authority.
“This sentence is dated this day, the 10th of October 2023 and the court is hereby adjourned Sine die,” he said.
Count 1: Borders on stealing, the accused was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was also directed to return $1,045,400 to NA
Count 2: The court also found the officer guilty on count two and sentenced him to five years imprisonment, in addition to paying back the sum of $400,800 to NAPL.
Count 3: On stealing, he bagged five years imprisonment. He was asked to refund $85,400 to NA
Count 4: Still on stealing, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and directed to return $35,300 to NA Properties.
Count 5: On stealing, he was directed to refund $55,500 to NAPL and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Count 6: He was sentenced to five years imprisonment and asked to pay $46,500 to NA
Count 7: He was found not guilty on the charge.
Court 8: He was found guilty of forgery and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Count 9: On theft, he was asked to refund $430,000 to NAPL and bagged five years imprisonment.
Count 10: He was found not guilty and discharged on offence of conspiracy to forge document.
Count 11: He was discharged and acquitted for forgery.
Count 12: He was sentenced to two years imprisonment for conduct prejudice on discipline.
Count 13: On theft, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was directed to pay N74,000,000 to NA
Count 14: He was found guilty of criminal misappropriation. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment and directed to pay N590,000,000 to NAPL.
Count 15: He was found guilty of criminal misappropriation and sentenced to two years imprisonment. He was directed to refund N255,000,000 to NAPL
Count 16: He was found guilty of criminal misappropriation and sentenced to two years imprisonment. In addition, he was directed to pay N559,172,000 to NCC
Count 17: He was found guilty of criminal misappropriation.
Count 18: He was sentenced to two years imprisonment for criminal misappropriation and ordered to pay N172,000,000 to NAPL.
The judgement is subject to the approval of the Nigerian Army Council.
Before the sentence, General Mohammed had been detained for years at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja where he spent years.
The defence counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), citing Section 157 of the Armed Forces Act, prayed the court to move his client to a custodial centre instead of military detention facility, which the court rejected.
Ojo also prayed that the sentence should run from the day of the court’s pronouncement.
On whether he will appeal the judgment, Ojo said he will consult his client on that.
“If he tells us tomorrow or after the confirmation that he is not satisfied with the findings and sentence, then we must carry out his instruction to appeal if he so instructs us, the decision is his,” he added.