Graft: Appeal against acquittal of education officer dismissed
Posted on August 4, 2012, Saturday
KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here yesterday dismissed an appeal by the prosecution against the acquittal of a senior education officer from nine charges of corruption involving a sum of RM199,700.
Judicial Commissioner Lee Heng Cheong yesterday affirmed the Sessions Court’s decision to acquit and discharge Abdul Wahab Ampuan Hamzah, 51, from all the charges without calling for his defence.
In his reserved judgement, Lee held that the lower court did not err in law and in fact when acquitting the respondent at the end of the prosecution’s case.
The Sessions Court had on Feb 1, this year acquitted and discharged Abdul Wahab after ruling that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
For the first, second and third charges, Abdul Wahab had allegedly used his position as the Papar district education officer to secure tenders for Serasi Jaya Kontractor Enterprise for a RM21,990 project to repair the floor and wall of SK Kambizaan Papar; a RM25,900 project to build the canteen at SK Benoni Papar and a RM28,980 project to upgrade the offices of the headmaster, senior assistant 1 and 2 and the general office of SK Kaiduan Papar respectively.
On the fourth, fifth and sixth charges, he had allegedly used his position to secure for Syarikat Asbah Enterprise the tenders of a RM19,990 project to paint the external and internal gates of SK Belatik Papar, a RM19,990 project to repair the RMT and toilet of SK Kogopon Papar and a RM21,980 tender for Syarikat Supian Jaya Kontraktor to build five toilets at SK Beringgis Papar respectively.
Meanwhile for the seventh, eighth and ninth charges, Abdul Wahab was alleged to have used his position to secure a RM19,900 tender for Serasi Jaya Kontraktor Enterprise to upgrade the computer room of SK Lingan Papar; a RM20,980 tender for Syarikat Syarmi Enterprise to build the computer room of SK Mandalipau Papar and a RM19,990 tender to build a security hut and upgrade the gate of SK Sabandil Papar respectively.
He was alleged to have committed all the offences at the Education office in Papar between March 4, and Sept, 2005.
Each of the charges under Section 15 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1997 and punishable under Section 16 of the same Act provides for a jail term of between 14 days and 20 years and a fine of up to five times of the bribe amount or RM10,000 depending on which amount is higher.
Wahab was represented by counsel Sugumar Balakrisnan.