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Ex-bank MD bags 163-year jail term for stealing

Posted by By Ola Agbaje on 2005/06/07 | Views: 1217 |

Ex-bank MD bags 163-year jail term for stealing

It was a big crash Tuesday for a financial expert and Managing Director of Thomas Kingsley Securities Limited, Sir Kingsley Ikpe, as he was sentenced to 163 years imprisonment for stealing N61 million.

It was a big crash Tuesday for a financial expert and Managing Director of Thomas Kingsley Securities Limited, Sir Kingsley Ikpe, as he was sentenced to 163 years imprisonment for stealing N61 million.

Harvard–trained 61 years old Ikpe, a one time Managing Director of Nigeria Arab Bank and Chairman of Fidelity Bank, fell from his Olympian height at a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja. He was found guilty of 39 of 43-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Beside the 163 years jail term, the court, presided over by Justice Joseph Oyewole, also ordered that Ikpe’s company pay a fine of N7.5 million and N61 million to the complainant, Chief Anthony Ifeanyichukwu Ezenna, the chairman of Orange Drugs Limited.

Reviewing the evidence adduced by the prosecution and the defence put up by the accused counsel, Justice Oyewole held that Ikpe was guilty on the charge of stealing preferred against him. He said that the prosecution, led by Seidu Atte, successfully proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused person.

Specifically, he noted that Ikpe, in his handwritten statement to the EFCC, had admitted the complainant’s claim that he was given N135 million by Ezenna to purchase shares of Nigeria Breweries Plc to enable him to become a director of the company.

The court accorded full evidential value to the evidence, while discountenancing attempt by the defence counsel to fault the evidence on the grounds that there was no specific instruction to acquire solely, the share securities of Nigeria Breweries Plc.

Ikpe was found guilty of fraudulently converting the money entrusted in his care to purchase 3,786,710 units of shares of NB Plc with the sum of N135 million paid to him in six installments. He was found to have purchased only 41,155 units, leaving a shortfall of N61 million worth shares.
Ikpe was also found guilty of forging and altering documents with which he hoodwinked the complainant to part with money even when the one collected was not fully utilised for the purpose for which it was collected.

Moments before the landmark judgment was passed, Ikpe’s counsel, Mr Robert Clark, in his application took time to bring to the fore the pedigree of his client while he traced his journey to the pinnacle of his career, which spanned 31 years.
In a moving appeal for leniency, Clark said Ikpe had maintained an umblemish track record in his career until the instant case.

"I urge my Lord to take into account the history of the accused person, who has been in charge of money for over 31 years without any blemish. I still believe what happened in this case was a mistake of the head and not of the mind.
"I urge the court to use this as a yardstick to impose minimum sentence considering the pain and the height and the fall. This is a great lesson for those who are in stock business that times have changed and that it is no more business as usual.

"If any soothsayer, or any crystal ball gazer had told him he would be in Kirikiri, he would not have believed. I want the court to consider him for option."
Though, the court appeared moved by the depth of the application of Clark, the trial judge still passed his judgement and sentenced the accused accordingly.

While describing Ikpe’s situation as pathetic, the judge noted that there was no difference between armed robbers and pen robbers as they are being driven by the same greed.

After the sentence, the judge directed Ikpe to be taken out of court. The convict was followed by his wife and close relatives as he was led to a waiting prison van with registration number PS 136AOI at exactly 3.15 pm.
Reacting to the court’s verdict Ikpe’s counsel said that he would challenge it in the Court of Appeal.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.