Justice Muhammed Lima of Benin division of Federal High Court
Thursday sentenced Michael Igbinedion, son of Gabriel Igbinedion, a
Benin based billionaire to six years imprisonment over alleged
laundering of N25 billion fund belonging to Edo state government.
Lima also sentenced Patrick Eboigbodin, an aide to the former governor
Lucky Igbinedion to 20 years imprisonment, in addition to a fine of
N250,000 on a 10-count charge.
Michael Igbinedion, a younger
brother to former governor Lucky Igbinedion, was sentenced to two years
imprisonment on each of the three count charges. He was however given an
option N3 million fine.
All the jail terms of the convicts are to run concurrently.
Securities Limited, one of the companies allegedly used by the convicts
to launder the funds, was ordered to fold up and forfeit all its assets
to the federal government.
The 81-count charges case was
instituted against the convicts, Michael Igbinedion, Patrick Eboigbodin,
Gava Corporation, Romring Nigeria Limited, PML Securities and PML
Nigeria Limited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC),
an offence said to have been committed between 1999 and 2007 when Lucky
Igbinedion was governor of the state.
Michael Igbinedion was
convicted on counts 79, 80 and 81 which bothered on collecting cash
payment above N500,000, while Patrick Eboigbodin and PML (Nigeria)
Limited were found guilty on counts 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58
and 58 which bothered on collaboration to conceal origin of funds
amounting to millions of naira paid into their private accounts.
Lima however discharged all the accused on other count charges on
ground of failure to prove allegations beyond reasonable doubt by the
prosecution. He said the prosecution only proved suspicion and failed
to prove illicit origin of funds deposited in some banks.