N32.8bn Pension Fraud: Perm Sec, 5 Others Remanded in Prison

30 Mar 2012

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Symbol of justice

By  Tobi Soniyi 

A Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service, Mr. Atiku  Kigo, and a Director, Chief Esai Dangabar, were Thursday  remanded in prison by an Abuja High Court for allegedly diverting N32.8billion Police Pension fund into their private bank accounts.

The Permanent Secretary and the Director were put on trial  by the Federal Government with four other top government officials in connection with fraud accusation.

The other suspects are Mr. Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakuku Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Mr. Habila Zira

They were arraigned before Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court on a 16-count  charge  of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and diversion of public fund amounting to N32.8 billion.

The alleged offences are contrary to sections 97, 315 Penal Code Act Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Nigeria, 2007.

The breakdown of the charges showed that the accused persons, being public officers in the service of the government of the federation between January 2009 and June 2011 in Abuja, diverted the sum of N14,518,567,724 being part of police pension from an account domiciled at First Bank Plc.

Between January and December 2009 in Abuja, the accused persons were also alleged to have breached the public trust with N8,920,371,822 police pension fund kept at First Bank Plc.

The charge sheet also indicated that between January 2010 and February 2011 also in Abuja, they diverted another sum of N4,739,894,896 police fund, while between February and June 2011, a N858,301,006 was also diverted from the same source.
They were also accused of stealing N656,559,289 in January 2011, while in March 2009 another N462,963,012 was allegedly diverted from the same fund, while working at the police  pension office, among others.

However, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges filed on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs.

An oral application by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN counsel to the 1st Accused Person for the suspects to be released on bail was turned down by the court.

Justice Talba directed that the bail application must be in writing with cogent reasons on why they should go on bail.

Awomolo then applied that the accused persons be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the time of their bail but was also turned down by the court on the ground that EFCC's custody was not a holding place for an accused person already brought to court.

Justice Talba ordered that they should be remanded in prison custody till April 3 when motion for their bail would be moved. The substantive case was adjourned till April 25 for hearing.

Tags: Featured, Fraud, News, Nigeria, Pension, Prison

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Comments (6)

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  • These people are 'petty thieves' what about the big pen robbers in Nigerian political circle who got 20 folds of what these poor civil servants have stolen? The press & the federal government are playing double standard. What about the guy who sold all the Nigerian buildings to his family? where are the Gbenga Daniels, the Tinumbus, the Bode Geoges etc. they are walking free men as if nothing has happened. Bankole told the whole of Nigeria that no court of law can try him - he was right; he is walking about a free man. I am not saying that what these poor civil(evil) servants did is right. What I am saying is that if the Nigerian press are doing a good job, they should hound these political thieves down b4 they start writing about these 'petty thieves' They a just a fraction of our super criminals.Where are Ibori (he used Nigeria money to build a refinery in South Africa,to feed d south Africans & make his own people poorer), where is Alamaisiagha, the least of them where is the captured Boko Haram's boss? Nigeria e go better! (Na poor man's prayer).

    From: Titilayo Sulu

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Well done. but look into CIPPO and HOS Pension 2000 to date. please let the senate look into these areas too. let us have an open mind about the investigation. if CIPPO and HOS Pension are not looked into then it becomes selective and one sided.

    From: southernman

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • If I were the president of this country, apart from jailing the culprits, their family shall be made to start life afresh. i.e all assets including clothes (except the ones they are wearing) beds, shoes - everything ,shall be confiscated.

    From: Ibrahim Adamu

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • It takes a lot of political will to fight corruption. So far, govt hasn't demonstrated that it's ready to fight corruption head-on. The over N32b fraud in the Police Pension Fund is a big issue. Let the court process go ahead unhindered. What about the bankers who were in a better position to have prevented the diversion? They're as culpable as the thieves because they allowed it. They, the bankers, are our problem. Perhaps, the hour has come for govt, the NLC and Civil Society to call for the audit of all pension funds at both State and Federal levels. The time has also come for us to make the offices of the Auditor-General independent. I do believe firmly that whether govt likes it or not, all those who've brought Nigeria to its knees will one day face the music and we shall recover every kobo from them or their children. Even the remains of Gen Abacha shall be exhumed and put on trial. We're only postponing the evil day.

    From: preh omoni

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Apart from present punishment which by God's mercy will come to pass, These people will also face the soul of those people they kill untimely when they die.Their children will not be left out unless they disown their them and reject the properties they acquire for them through wickedness.Other pension board should immediately be probed because is worst if God probe them and those who are supossed to probe them

    From: Jimo Akande

    Posted: 3 years ago

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  • Granting bail is not d isue with d money refund back to d owners? Some people are in d office enjoying other peoples money why d owners as family men & women are surfering.d wicked will know go unpulish.

    From: Onyemaechi ndubuisi

    Posted: 3 years ago

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