High-Ranking Nigerian Army Official Sentenced to Seven Years for Corruption, Ordered to Repay N3.7 Billion
In a significant legal development, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, Maj. Gen. Umaru Mohammed, faced justice in a Nigerian Army special court martial held in Abuja. On Tuesday, the court delivered a verdict that found Mohammed guilty of a series of offenses, including forgery, misappropriation of funds, and conspiracy. Though Mohammed had pleaded not guilty to all 18 charges, the court martial convicted him on 14 of them.
The consequences of this verdict were severe, with Maj. Gen. James Myam leading an eight-man panel in delivering the judgment. The court martial sentenced Mohammed to seven years’ imprisonment, marking a severe blow to the former executive. In addition to the prison term, Mohammed was ordered to make substantial financial restitutions.
The military court decreed that Mohammed must pay back a staggering $2,178,900, which, when converted to the local currency at the rate of N1000 per dollar, amounted to a colossal N2.1 billion. When combined with another sum of N1.6 billion, Mohammed was directed to return a total of N3.7 billion to the Army properties and the Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL).
The verdict was rendered for individual counts as well. On the first count, Mohammed received a five-year prison sentence and was ordered to repay $1,045,400 to the Nigerian Army Properties Limited. Count two resulted in a similar five-year imprisonment term and a restitution of $480,000 to NAPL, while on count three, he was sentenced to five years in prison and required to refund $85,400 to NAPL.
Counts four, five, six, and nine each led to five-year imprisonment sentences for Mohammed, coupled with orders to return $35,300, $55,500, $46,500, and $430,800, respectively. Importantly, the military court clarified that these sentences would run concurrently, pending confirmation by the relevant authorities.
During the proceedings, Lekan Ojo (SAN), the counsel representing the convicted ex-MD of NAPL, presented an oral application based on Section 157 of the Armed Forces Act. He requested that his client be transferred to a custodial center rather than the Army detention facility, emphasizing that the court martial’s sentence commenced from the day of its pronouncement. However, the court declined this request, thus ensuring that Mohammed would serve his sentence within the Army’s detention facility.