Picture: for illustration purposes

Corrupt R5,000 Transaction Lands Man Behind Bars for 10 Years

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The Volksrust Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga, South Africa, has sentenced 42-year-old Benjamin Ezeokwuosa to a ten-year jail term on charges of corruption. This judgement follows Benjamin's attempt to bribe a Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), colloquially known as the Hawks, officer with R5,000 to secure the release of his brother arrested on drug-related charges.

Ezeokwuosa, together with an alleged accomplice, was apprehended on May 8, 2022, by the Hawks' serious crime investigation unit in Secunda. According to Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, the Hawks spokesperson in Mpumalanga, the corrupt activity transpired outside the Volksrust Magistrate’s Court where the officers were attending a drug-related case.

Ezeokwuosa initiated contact by calling an investigator, requesting a meeting to arrange for his brother's release. Following the call, an undercover operation, approved by the requisite authority, was set up. Nwaebiem Uchenna Uzuegbnam seemingly acted as the middleman, approaching the Hawks officer with the bribe offer which included an additional amount to ensure the case would disappear.

The meeting ended with both Nigerian men under arrest and subsequently charged with corruption. While Ezeokwuosa later admitted guilt, leading to his current sentence, his accomplice Uzuegbnam remains in custody pending further separation of trial arrangements scheduled for September 7.

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