Whistleblower James Urah has been sentenced to two years in prison, in an FCT High court, Apo, after he was found guilty of providing false misleading information to the Independent and Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
However, the convict who had already spent two years in prison was deemed worthy by Justice Angela Otaluka to have served his jail time
In 2017, ICPC charged James Urah to court for intentionally misleading the commission by providing false information to them.
According to Osuobeni Akpomisinigha who was the Prosecution Counsel for the ICPC told the court that Whistleblower James Urah informed the commission about a sitting Senator who hid a certain amount of money on his poultry farm. The convict claimed he knew about the transfer of huge funds going down at a poultry farm in Niger by his alleged boss.
At the time of providing this information, James Urah gave a false name stating that his name was John Godwin. It was later realized that his real name James Urah after findings were made.
The whistleblower pleaded not guilty to the charge but due to his lack of legal representation, the case suffered great delay and he was kept in custody for several months.
Karina Tunyan and co came to the convict’s rescue as a lawyer was provided for him from their law firm. Isioma Kelubia, the Defence Counsel for the Whistleblower put up an argument saying the laws James Urah was accused of breaking, have been repealed. Hence, he can not be convicted since the laws have been struck out from the ICPC act.
However, Justice Angela dismissed the argument of the Defence counsel saying, as long as the elements of the crime were stipulated in the Nigerian constitution, the charges remain valid.
This made the Defence Counsel plead for mercy stating that the whistleblower was a first time offender. Inspite of the plea, Justice Angela Otaluka sentenced him accordingly