A Federal High Court sitting in Benin, the Edo state Capital, on Thursday sentenced former aide to ex-Governor Lucky Igbinedion, Patrick Ebogboidin, to 20 years imprisonment over his involvement in a N25billion money laundering case.
Also jailed along with Eboigbodin is the younger brother to the ex-governor, Michael Igbinedion, who bagged six years jail term in the money laundering case, instituted against them and four companies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Abubakar Lima, however, gave Michael Igbinedion an option of N1million fine in each of the three charges he was found guilty.
Eboigbodin who was given two years in each of the 10 charges without an option of fine will, however, spend two years in jail as the sentence will run concurrently.
Justice Liman also fined PML (Nigeria) Limited, one of the companies said to have been used to siphon the money, the sum of N1m in each of the 10-count charge, totalling N10million and to be liquidated with all assets forfeited to the Federal Government, while Gava Corporation Limited, Romrig Nigeria Limited, PMI Securities Company Limited were discharged and acquitted
Patrick Eboigbodin, Michael Igbinedion and the four companies were arraigned on an 81-count charge of money laundering, an offence they committed when Lucky Igbinedion was the Governor of Edo State between 1999 and 2007.
Justice Liman, however, reserved the pronouncement of their sentence till Thursday, after convicting Patrick Eboigbodin and PML (Nigeria) Limited on count 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.
Liman in the judgment which he read for three hours 35 minutes, also convicted Michael Igbinedion on count 79, 80 and 81 which also bothered on collecting cash payment above N500,000.
Justice Liman held that the prosecution proved the alleged collaboration beyond reasonable doubts but discharged all the accused on other count charges because the prosecution failed to prove the allegations.
According to him, the prosecution only proved suspicion and failed to prove illicit origin of funds deposited in some banks.