Fred Itua, Abuja
An Abuja magistrate court presided over by Justice Idayat Akanni has sentenced Mr Joshua Gborubo to one year in prison or to pay a fine of N20,000 and a compensation of N1.8M ($5,000) to the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), FCT Chapter.
As soon as the judgment was read, Gborubo, 53, was immediately whisked away to Keffi Prison until the fine is paid and compensation to NAWOJ is confirmed.
Counsel to NAWOJ Stephen Orji told newsmen: “I believe the essence of the law is to bring about justice. If he had admitted without coercion that he took the money why did he now try to change and switch things and probably get away with it?”
Reacting to the judgement, prosecution counsel Oyeyemi Olowosoke said: “The judgement served the course of justice as it will act to discourage other acts of breach of trust.”
NAWOJ FCT Chapter Chairperson Stella Okoh-Esene described the judgment as “fantastic.”
“This judgement has exonerated me from any complicity that was bound to come as a result of people’s interpretation of the way and manner Joshua treated me. Now I can go to bed with my two eyes closed,” she stated.
Also reacting on the verdict, former Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, and a onetime Special Adviser on Media to Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State, Jacob Edi, said he was very elated.
“If anybody wants to doubt, the fact that she got a conviction should make doubting Thomases to know that Stella knew what she was doing.”