George Turnah, a one-time Special Adviser to the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dan Abia, has been handed a six-year prison sentence. This ruling comes courtesy of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in a case involving financial malfeasance.
Turnah, a political protege of former President Goodluck Jonathan, faced justice alongside two other individuals, Ebis Orubebe and Uzorgor Chidebere, who were all found guilty of charges related to obtaining money under false pretenses. Their sentences also encompass money laundering, conversion of funds, and forgery, all of which are violations of Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) initially brought charges against them in May 2017, with a subsequent re-arraignment on January 25, 2021. The allegations spanned 23 counts, accusing the trio of involvement in fraudulent activities amounting to a staggering N2,894,500,000.
Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for the EFCC, confirmed this development on Monday. He stated, “They were jailed on Thursday, September 7, 2023, having been found guilty of charges preferred against them by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission…”
It’s worth noting that throughout the legal proceedings, Turnah, Orubebe, and Chidebere consistently pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. This verdict now underscores the continued efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat financial crimes and corruption within the country.