EFCC Arraigns Insurance Broker for Diversion of N26bn PHCN Severance Benefit

0

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned one Mr. Abiodun Waheed Hassan and his Company Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited before Justice S.C Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Apo, Abuja on a five-count charge of alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of over N26billion.

A statement by the commission said the defendant allegedly diverted humongous sums of money earmarked for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into the corporate account of entities.

However, the defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’, when the charges were read to him.

Based on his plea, prosecution counsel, Benjamin Lawan Menji, ask for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant at the Correctional Service pending the trail.

Counsel for the defendant, Ade Olusalako told the court that the defense had filed a motion for bail of his client and pleaded for the remand of the defendant in the custody of the EFCC pending the determination of his bail application on the grounds that “the defendant has been on administrative bail for almost five years and he has an underlining sickness”.

However, the prosecution counsel objected to the application. “As he rightly submitted, we received the application but we shall vehemently be opposing the application; we said vehemently so that the court will know that we have a strong opposition.

“Moreover, our facility is overstretched because of the issue of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the little we have we are trying to manage them. The proper place of detention or custody is the Correctional Service which the government has done its best in providing”, Menji told the court.

However, Justice Oriji adjourned the matter till March 4, 2021 for hearing on the bail application and remanded defendant in EFCC custody