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Attempt to repatriate corpse lands Abuja man in jail

01 May 2015, 06:58Augustine Osayande

Abuja - A federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced Ugwouke Ugochukwu to two years imprisonment for forging a letter of waiver of the Federal Ministry of Health to repatriate a corpse from South Africa.

Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Ugochukwu (33) was charged before Justice Salihu Garba or forging the signature of Dr. Sani-Gwarzo of the Federal Ministry of Health to repatriate the corpse of his cousin, Bartholomew Ugwu, who died in South Africa.

ICPC counsel, Ekoi Akponimisngha told the court that the offence was committed on November 5 last year.

It was punishable under Section 97(2) of the Penal Code.

“That you agreed with one Ogwouke Uche now at large to do an illegal act to make a false letter of the Federal Ministry of Health, Port Health (Quarantine) Services to wit: waiver for the repatriation of corpse with reference number HMH/AB/505/VOL/220 dated 30th September, 2014 by superimposing the signature of one Dr  N. Sani-Gwarzo for the purposes of using same to repatriate the corpse of one Bartholomew Ikenna Ugwu who died in South Africa knowing same to be a false letter and intending that same be used as genuine,” the charge reads.

Counsel to the accused, Emeka Ugwani, admitted before the court that his client was guilty of the offence and prayed the court to be lenient in its judgment. He noted that the accused had shown remorse since he committed the crime. 

“He has admitted that he is guilty of the crime and he has shown maximum remorse since the commission of the crime. I pray the court to be considerate because the accused did not waste the time of the court, he has cooperated fully with the court,” Ugwani said

Justice Garba, while ruling, observed that the accused would be punished to serve as a deterrent to others and sentenced him to two years imprisonment.

“I have seen that you are a young man with family. The punishment will serve as a deterrent to others. You are sentenced to two years imprisonment,” Garba ruled.

- CAJ News


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