A court registrar has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for demanding bribe in the line of duty.
Anikwu Ambrose Ifesinachi is a registrar with a Magistrate Court in Enugu State. He was dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2010.
ICPC had in the charge sheet filed before the court alleged that Ifesinachi had on June 2010, whilst being the clerk of the Magistrate Court in Awgu received the sum of N80,000 from one Arukwe Charles purportedly for Chief Magistrate J.S Ede of the same Magistrate Court before the warrant of release could be processed to effect the release of one Maduabuchi Oji from prison custody.
Ifesinachi, according to ICPC, demanded the bribe of N80, 000.00 from the relation of a suspect before he would process the warrant of release of the suspect who was in custody for about two years.
After persistent demand, the relation approached ICPC and the Commission gave him marked money. As soon as the accused collected the money from the relation, he was arrested by the operatives of the ICPC.
Consequently, the accused was charged on two counts for demanding and receiving bribe under the ICPC Act in the High Court of Enugu.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution called three witnesses and tendered some exhibits while the accused gave evidence without calling any witness. In his defence, he claimed to have collected the money on behalf of the complainants whom he did not call as a witness.
At the close of the case, ICPC filed their final written address on 29th January 2014 which was adopted.
In the judgment of the Court, the Accused was discharged on Count 1 but was convicted on count 2 and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment without option of fine.