By Adedeji Fatimah
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Friday, March 6, 2020, secured the conviction of a former Deputy Chief Registrar of the Oyo State High Court, Mutiat Omobola Adio.
Justice Muniru Olagunju found her guilty of a lone-count charge of stealing in a case preferred against her by the anti-graft agency.
The convict, who was also a Chief Magistrate in the state, was accused of stealing a sum of N22,375,913 (Twenty Two Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirteen Naira), from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, an offence that runs contrary to section 390(11) of criminal Code, Cap.38, Law of Oyo State.
This is the second time in less than two years the former top government official would earn jail term for fraud-related offences. Earlier, on May 18, 2018, she was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for obtaining under false pretence a sum of N9.2 million from one Abiodun Olonade, a Nigerian resident in Ireland. The sentencing was without an option of fine.
Adio, in the latest criminal charge, was said to have abused her office as the secretary of a Cooperative Society of the Oyo State Judicial Officers by inflating the total sum approved for loan facilities granted her members by the GTBank, and converting the difference to personal use. She was said to be the facilitator of the loan which totaled about N90m.
She pleaded not guilty to the offence when she was first arraigned on April 25, 2017, necessitating the commencement of her trial. The prosecution, led by Dr. Ben Ubi, called five witnesses, while she called two.
After listening to arguments from the parties, Justice Olagunju declared her guilty of the offence and sentenced her to five years in prison without an option of fine.
She was also ordered to pay back the sum of 20,935,000 to the GTBank, the victim of her crime.