The Abuja division of Court of Appeal on Wednesday sentenced John Yusuf, a top civil servant to six years imprisonment in addition to imposition of N23 billion fine for embezzling funds meant for payment of pensions to retired police officers
Yusuf had earlier been jailed two years with an option of N750,000 for the same offence in 2013.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had imposed the light punishment on the assistant director in the federal civil service, after he was tried on a 20 count charge.
He had pleaded guilty to betraying trust and fraudulently converting part of the police pension for personal use before the lower court.
Not satisfied with the ruling, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had filed an appeal against the judgment.
In the appeal, EFCC questioned the decision of the lower court to impose a sentence of little value on the respondent who was charged for converting an aggregate sum of over N24 billion naira which was meant for payment of police pension into his personal use.
While asking the appeal court to examine if the judge used his discretion judicially and judiciously, the EFCC argued that the ruling of the High court was not a fit punishment for the ex-assistant director of the federal civil service.
In their unanimous ruling, the judges of appeal court agreed with EFCC.
They pointed out that the light sentence imposed on the accused by the lower court does not serve as serve as deterrence to both the convict and others and consequently, the sentence should be reviewed and taken as invalid.
It will be recalled that the light sentence imposed on Yusuf by the lower court had generated outrage among Nigerians.
The former director further worsened anger of Nigerians over the slap -in- the -wrist punishment for theft of billions of naira when he was shown being chauffer-driven away in a top of the range Mercedez Benz car few minutes after the fine was imposed on him.