S’ Court affirms ex-Federal Pension Director, John Yusuf’s six years jail sentence
*Orders him to refund N22.9bn to FG

The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed the six years jail sentence imposed on a former Federal Director of Pensions (FDP,) Mr John Yakubu Yusuf and ordered him to refund N22.9bn which he  misappropriated from the  police pension fund .

Apex Court in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Tijjani Abubakar  upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal which in 2018 sentenced  Yusuf to six years imprisonment and  ordered him to refund the huge sum.

Yusuf had filed the appeal after the Court of Appeal upturned the decision of the trial high court in  Federal Capital Territory Abuja which in 2016 imposed on him two years imprisonment or an option of fine of mere N750, 000 .

Justice Abubakar said that the appeal of the former federal pension Director seeking to set aside the six years jail term against him was frivolous, vexatious and devoid of merit.

He further held that victims of the convicted Director deserved restitution which can only be achieved through justice

Justice Abubakar said that the plea bargain which was entered as judgment at the high court and ruling of the Judge on it was not only bizarre, embarrassing but ridiculous and unacceptable.

The apex court also rejected  the sentence passed  at the high court as being ” meagre, insufficient and ridiculous” in view of the huge negative impacts the fraudulent action of the convict must have caused the pensioners.

Justice Abubakar adopted the judgment of the Court of Appeal which imposed six years jail term on the former pension Director and also directed him to make a refund of N22.9B to the federal government.

“I have carefully perused the case of the appellant (Yusuf). I found it to be frivolous, vexatious and devoid of merit.

“I make an order dismissing the appeal and affirming the findings and conclusion of the Court below”, the Supreme Court Justice said.

Recalled , the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC had arraigned Yusuf before FCT High Court in 2016 where he admitted committing the fraud and subsequently entered into a plea bargain with the anti graft agency.

Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT high court had upon the plea bargain. sentenced the former director to two years imprisonment with an option of N750.000 fine which he promptly paid and escaped imprisonment.

Irked by the sentence considered to be too ridiculous, EFCC had challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The Court of Appeal in its judgment of 2018 quashed the plea bargain, sentenced the former director to six years imprisonment without option of fine and also ordered him to refund the N22.9 billion naira to the covers of the federal government.

Not satisfied with the Court of Appeal decision, Yusuf approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Court of Appeal judgment on the ground of gross mis-carriage of justice .