Report gathered that Justice Latifa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court on Monday sentenced a staff of the probate division of the Lagos State judiciary, Mrs Bukola Adeosun, to a three-year jail term for stealing government money.
The judge found the woman guilty of two out of the three-count charge of stealing, alteration and conspiracy brought against her by the prosecution.
Justice Okunnu held that Adeosun was guilty of stealing of N1,114,000 belonging to the government.
The judge, however, absolved the accused of conspiracy on the ground that there was no evidence linking her conduct with anybody as claimed by the prosecution.
Adeosun was accused by the prosecution on three-count charge of stealing and conspiracy alongside another probate official, Mrs. Funmilayo Kazeem.
They were accused of defrauding the government and their victims who came for official transactions at the probate division of the court.
However, the court discharged and acquitted the second defendant for the offences of conspiracy and stealing but convicted the 1st defendant of the offence of stealing.
According to the prosecution, the convict between June and August, 2008 collected various sums of money amounting to N1.1 million from different people, while issuing them original government receipts without reflecting same in the official records of the treasury of the court.
She was accused of issuing receipt bearing big sums of money, contrary to the official directive which prescribed any transaction above N2,000 to be paid to the bank.
The prosecution during the trial disclosed to the court that the cashiers at the probate were not expected to collect cash above N2,000 on transaction, but during investigation it was revealed that the convict collected various sums of money ranging from N4,000 to N150,000 from her unsuspecting victims, in the guise of helping them conduct some probate issues.
In her judgment, Justice Okunnu held that the prosecution was able to prove the case of stealing against the convict despite the accused’s claim that her confessional statement was obtained under duress.
She also denied collecting money from her victims, as well attributing her problems to her co-accused.
Justice Okunnu held that her statements were voluntarily made and that the discrepancies in her statements were very glaring.