Court jails two Chinese nationals for six years for collecting N50m bribe
Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Kuai

The Sokoto State division of Appeal Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Mahmud Talba has sentenced two Chinese nationals – Meng Wei Kun and Mr. Xu Kuai, to six years imprisonment each for N50million bribe.

Justice Talba on Friday found the two Chinese nationals guilty of the two-count charge bordering on Conspiracy, Money Laundering and attempted Bribery to the tune of N50 million brought against them by the Sokoto Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Their conviction was sequel to the EFCC’s appeal brought against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto, which discharged and acquitted the accused persons on all the count charges.

Justice Talba while delivering the judgment on Friday berated the respondents for trying to frustrate the appeal through maneuverings.

He stated that “Gone are the days of technicalities in law” and therefore emphasised that going forward, courts must allow cases to be heard on its merits.

The judge also explained that the EFCC had proven counts one and two of the three count charges before the Federal High Court beyond reasonable doubt but agreed with the lower Court on count three and therefore struck it out on the ground that a similar charge is pending before the High Court of Justice Sokoto State.

Justice Talba said that “The respondents are charged with Conspiracy and making a cash payment in excess of the threshold provided by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended in 2012 to Abdullahi Lawal (then zonal head of EFCC Sokoto) which was established beyond reasonable doubt before the lower Court. But surprisingly, the trial judge somersaulted in his judgement and recanted.

“I regret to say that the judgment is like a fiction by the trial judge who created doubts in his mind while discharging his responsibilities. Without doubt, the trial judge grossly misconceived that no offence was committed.

“Conspiracy is a distinct offence even if the commission of the actual offence is aborted, and in the instant case, there exists positive cogent inescapable evidence the offence was committed.”

The judge maintained that the appeal was “immensely meritorious”, hence, he convicted and sentenced the Chinese nationals to three years on each of the two counts with an option of N10million fine each on each count.

Justice Talba in his final note said, “Before I draw the curtain, the respondents are Chinese and an offence of this gravity in their home country attracts the death penalty, yet here they are corrupting our country.

“The courts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not condone corruption in any way; as President Muhammadu Buhari has said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”


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