Hon. Herman Hembe

Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja yesterday discharged and acquitted a former chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market, Mr Herman Hembe, who was charged with converting  an estimated N600,000 given to him by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for him to travel to the Dominican Republic, for a refresher conference in October 2011. 

In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal upheld the argument of Mr Jilbrin Okutepa, SAN, to the effect that Hembe did not commit any offence to warrant him facing trial. 

Justice Joseph Tine-Tur who delivered the lead judgment said what the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) did was not prosecution but persecution. 

He held that the proof of evidence and the evidence given by the witnesses called by EFCC did not establish a prima facie case against Hembe. 

He consequently quashed the charges and discharged and acquitted him. 

Hembe and his deputy, Chris Azubogu were charged with alleged conversion of Estacodes given to them by SEC to travel abroad for a conference.

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