EX-NIHSA DG John Shamonda imprisoned after using funds meant for state, for sallah celebration

Mr John Ayoade Shamonda, the former Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, has been handed a prison sentence after being arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC.

The ICPC arraigned the Ex-NIHSA DG on 10 counts, bordering on knowingly making false statement and virement without approval. He was also accused of buying two Toyota Prado jeeps and two Hiace buses totalling the sum of N49.15m from the N603m he was given by the FG, for the rehabilitation and replacement of damaged hydrological equipment across the country following the devastating incident of flooding in 2012.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola in his judgement, said Shamonda was found guilty of using part of the money meant for the Federal Government project to fund a sallah welfare package. The statement from ICPC’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, reads;

“During the trial, the prosecution presented seven witnesses while 26 documents were admitted as exhibits. The court was also told that Shamonda, while being the DG of NIHSA, had written to the then Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, requesting N603m for the rehabilitation and replacement of damaged hydrological equipment across the country following the devastating incident of flooding in 2012.

“Furthermore, the court was informed that the former DG in disbursing the money did not follow the ‘procurement plan’ for which the money was released. Instead, Shamonda approved that N2, 767, 500.00 be used for “Sallah welfare package” which was paid to all the members of staff of the agency. Also, he spent N25, 749, 390.60 on a national stakeholders’ workshop.

“In his judgment, Justice Ademola found the accused guilty and convicted him on counts five, seven, eight, nine and 10 to one year imprisonment or an option of fine of N50, 000 on each count which sentences are to run concurrently, while he was discharged and acquitted on counts one, two, three, four and six.”

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