Pension Fraud: ‘I Travelled to Hajj with What I?Got’

14 Apr 2012

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Alhaji Hassan Tukur

ByTobi Soniyi in Abuja

The Acting Director of Finance and Accounts at the Federal Civil Service Commission, Alhaji Hassan Tukur, who is standing trial with two others for allegedly stealing N110 million pension fund has told investigators that he used his own share of the money to travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

In his statement to operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tukur said he also used part of the money to pay his debts and repair his house at Yelwa in Yauri Local Government of Kebbi State.
He said in the statement: "I have collected the sum of $240,000 from the amount shared.

"I used the money to settle some debts owed to my banks (Afribank) over N2 million and repairs of my house in the village. I travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. I cannot say how much I spent in Saudi Arabia. It is not proper to take money from an account that was not opened by oneself."

His alleged co-conspirator, Babatunde Abisuga, in his own statement, gave the breakdown of how the money was withdrawn and shared as follows:

"After the change of signatories, mandates were presented to the bank for the withdrawal of the money. These were done three times, the first was for N26million, second was about N40million and the third was for N42 million.

"These monies were transferred to some companies and the proceeds shared between Director, Finance and Account, Alhaji Hassan Tukur, myself and Mohammed Ndakupe.

"The Director of Finance and Accounts took N60 million, while myself and Ndakupe took N20 million each.

"We were informed that the fund was from pension and this is an unusual transaction."

Tukur, Abisuga and one other Accounts staff of the FCSC, Mohammed Ndakupe, are facing trial in connection with the fraud. They were charged with conspiracy to steal, stealing and forgery.

They were accused of making false document- the signatory mandate presented to First Bank to withdraw the stolen money. They also allegedly forged a debit mandate letter.

Out of the N60 million he collected, Tukur has refunded N15 million.
This is in addition to a $100,000 refunded by him.

On February 17, Tukur refunded additional $76,000 and another N300,000.00.

The same day, he also issued a cheque of N7.9million in favour of Federal Civil Service Commission.

The suspects were arraigned on   April 3,    before Justice Maryann Anennih of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court on a 12- count charge bordering on fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, forgery and fraudulent conversion of public funds totalling N100 million.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by EFCC.

Tags: News, Featured, Nigeria, Hassan Tukur

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