Lagos House of assembly has confirmed the nomination of Hakeem Dickson as head of the state’s Safety Commission
Dickson was convicted for fraud in United States in 1991 but fled jail term
Dickson was nominated by the Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode
The Lagos state House of Assembly has confirmed the nomination of Mr Hakeem Dickson, a man convicted for fraud in United States, as the new head of state’s Safety Commission.
NAIJ reported that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode nominated Dickson on October 4, 2016 as the Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, an agency empowered to set safety standards in the socio-economic activities in the state.
According to Premium Times, Dickson was convicted of credit card fraud in the United States but escaped the country without serving his 24-month jail term.
Judge Dickinson Debevoise of a U.S. District Court, in a judgement published by Sahara reporters last year, said Mr Dickson had not served the sentence handed to him since June 1992.
The judge said: “For 20 years, Defendant (Mr. Dickson) successfully evaded all United States government efforts to locate and arrest him.”
Dickson was arrested on June 14, 1991 and convicted for credit card fraud. Four months later, Dickson pleaded guilty to Count One of a four-count indictment which charged that from August 29, 1990, to September 10, 1990, he “knowingly and willfully executed and attempted to execute” a scheme to defraud a federally insured institution in violation of U.S. laws.
On June 25, 1992, Dickson was sentenced to 24-month jail term, to be followed by a term of supervised release of three years. He was also ordered to repay $14,400.
The judge fixed August 3, 1992 for his voluntary surrender, despite opposition from the U.S. government, the plaintiff in the suit.
The judge said: “The government had urged at sentencing that Defendant be remanded forthwith or at least surrender to the Bureau of Prisons no later than the following Monday, June 29, 1992.
“The court noted that while on bail Defendant returned on three occasions after being given permission to leave the country.
“The Court also took account of Defendant’s wish to spend more time with his one-year-old son, who suffered severe medical problems. Thus the August 3, 1992, surrender date.”
But on August 3, 1992, Mr. Dickson was nowhere to be found in the U.S., forcing the judge to revoke his bail and issue a warrant for his arrest.
Twenty years later, on January 27, 2012, Mr. Dickson, filed a motion seeking to adjust his sentence of 24 months incarceration in the U.S. by claiming that he had already served 17 months on the same sentence in a Lagos prison.
In his motion, Dickson claimed that he lost his relatives during a religious clash in Lagos and he had to depart the US to go bury his siblings in Nigeria.
Dickson motion reads: “During these clashes, two of Defendant’s sisters were killed and the family home was burned to the ground,” the judge quoted Mr. Dickson as claiming, in his judgment dated May 12, 2012.
“Following his sentencing Defendant returned to Lagos to bury his sisters, assess the damage to his father’s house and to take his mother for treatment.
“When Defendant arrived in Lagos, he was arrested at the airport and was told that since he was convicted in the United States he would also serve time in Nigeria. He was retained in custody until December 10, 1993, a total of 17 months.”
According to an investigations done by Premium Times though, no Nigerian prison has record of Dickson spending anytime Nigerian prison between 1992 and 1993.
A top prison source reportedly said: “There is no name like that in our record. We’ve checked both our Lagos and Abuja records.”