ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta
The Pension Reform Task Team has revealed that a total of N3.3 trillion had been deducted from the Local Government pension funds without proper accountability from 1976 to date.
A member of the team who was also a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ngozika Ihuoma, said this during a visit to the headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) weekend in Abuja.
In a statement signed by ICPC's Head of Media and Publicity, Folu Olamiti, the team also revealed that it was able to uncover a fraud of N36 billion within the Police Pension Funds Office, and had remitted the sum to the Federal Government’s account.
He stated further that chairman of the team, Abdul'Rasheed Maina, who led the delegation, said that about 120 property allegedly acquired with stolen pension funds by the cabal was also recovered.
He said investigations by members of his team had revealed that the cabal in the Police Pension Office was in the habit of stealing up to N300 million on a daily basis through fictitious cheques prepared in the names of fake pensioners.
Maina, who had also been accused of fraud and outright stealing of pension funds, said that investigations into the Police Pension Office were still ongoing, and that his team had so far covered 40 per cent of investigations into the pension funds scam.
He disclosed that he had continued to receive death threats from those he suspected as members of the pension funds cabal, recalling the recent mail sent to him, threatening to bomb the office of the Pension Reform Task Team.
ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, while responding to the team, stated that continued stealing of pension funds by officials of government was an impending national disaster.
Nta said denying pensioners their rights and entitlements through stealing of their pensions could put pressure on the national economy, adding that the diversion of pension funds easily attracted irreversible curses on the perpetrators.
He however assured the team of ICPC's preparedness to support the fight against stealing of pension funds in Nigeria.