Former Customary Court of Appeal Judge Arraigned Over Age Falsification

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Francis Chukwuma Abosi, a former judge of the Imo State Customary Court of Appeal, has been charged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) with falsifying his age on a government document in order to gain an unfair advantage.

Abosi was taken before Justice U.P. Kekemeke of the FCT High Court, Maitama Abuja on a three-count charge bordering on forgery and bestowing unfair advantage on himself by the ICPC, the Commission claimed in a statement.

Investigations, according to the report, showed that Abosi gave the National Judicial Council Chairman his birthdate as November 17, 1958, before his appointments in 2010 and 2014. (NJC).

However, luck ran out on him when the NJC wrote to the Nigeria Law School to verify his records. Unfortunately, findings from both the Law School and his alma mater, the University of Nigeria Nsukka, showed that he was born on the 17th of November 1950.

The NJC then suspended the defendant from office and recommended him to proceed on compulsory retirement, which he complied with. The Council then went on to report the matter to ICPC.

Partof the charge against the defendant reads, “That you Francis Chukwuma Abosi (M) sometime in April 2010 or thereabout at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court while being a public officer to wit: Judge of the Imo State Customary Court of Appeal made a false statement to the Chairman of the National Judicial Council in the exercise of the duties of his office by stating in the National Judicial Council Data on judicial officers form that your date of birth is the 17th of November, 1958 when you know that your actual date of birth is the 17th of November, 1950 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 25 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000”.

“The accused pleaded “Not Guilty” when the charge was read to him. The application for bail moved by the defence counsel, J. O. Asoluka, SAN, was not opposed by the prosecution. The defendant was consequently granted bail on self-recognizance.

The case was then adjourned to 16th February 2023 for definite hearing.”