A Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Balogun, will serve three years in jail for demanding a bribe of N100,000 from a litigant for the purpose of giving him favourable judgment.
Justice Ishaq Bello of an Abuja High Court pronounced judgement on Balogun who was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on demanding and receiving bribe from a litigant in his court.
Balogun was arrested after collecting the sum of N50,000 as gratification from the litigant, following a sting operation by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The ICPC accused Balogun of demanding the sum of N100,000 as gratification from one Dr. Isidore Nnadi in order to favour him while judging the cases he had.
Balogun committed the crime sometime in September, 2003 at Abuja.
Justice Bello said that Balogun’s actions had brought shame to the judiciary. He said his judgement was to serve as deterrent to other judges who may be guilty of similar act.
“You are a Chief Magistrate with great responsibility to provide justice to others, but you have let yourself and the entire judiciary down. In fact, it was the same week you were meant to be elevated to the position of a judge that you committed the crime thereby stopping your promotion,” he said.
“Your plea for leniency would not hold water because you deserve an appropriate sentence to send a message to the general public that the judiciary will not condone corruption even among top judicial officers.”
Bello then sentenced him to three years imprisonment with an option of fine of N500,000.