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EFCC Re-arraigns 7 for Stealing N46bn Police Pension Fund


News » Politics
Abuja

Image: Suspended permanent secretary, Atiku Abubakar Kigo

April/11/2013 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wednesday re-arraigned a suspended permanent secretary, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, and six others for allegedly stealing an estimated N46 billion police pension funds.

They were arraigned before Justice Hussain Baba of an Abuja High Court on an amended 18-count charge for criminal breach of trust and conspiracy involving the sum of N46 billion.

One of the suspects, who was absent when the other suspects were previously arraigned, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, took her plea Wednesday.

A statement by the EFCC said of her: “Attang who was absent in court when the others were first arraigned, was in charge of the police pension fund when N7.8 billion was stolen through 10,863 cheques.

“She was also discovered to have personally signed 1,042 cheques to the tune of N1,141,309,080.25.

“Investigations revealed that Mrs. Attang used several companies to defraud the Police Pension Office. Some of the companies which she allegedly used are Royal Diadem Business Logistic Limited, Amazing Grace Property Development Company, Enyiuzo Ventures Limited, Status Symbols Rentals Limited, Status Travels and Tours Limited, Quillponte and Anifon Nigeria Limited.”

In addition to Kigo and Attang, other accused persons were: Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira and Christian Madubuike.

The 18-count (amended) charge is punishable under Sections 97 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory.
They had earlier been arraigned alongside convicted pension thief, John Yusuf, before Justice Mohammed Talba.

However, following the public outcry that greeted the sentence meted out to Yusuf, the EFCC decided to withdraw the prosecution of the remaining suspects from Justice Talba.

Justice Talba had sentenced Yusuf  to two years imprisonment but gave him the option to pay a N750,000 fine, a sentence that angered the nation and drew uncomplimentary remarks against the nation's judiciary in the fight against corruption.

Following the public outcry, the trial of the alleged pension thieves was re-assigned to another court presided by Justice Hussain Baba.

Count one of the amended charge alleged that the suspects conspired and agreed, between January 2008 and June 2011, to do an illegal act, to wit: “Criminal breach of trust in respect of the sum of N20.155 billion, an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Nigeria 2007.”

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The court subsequently fixed their trial for June 3 and 4, 2012.

Meanwhile, supporters of one of the suspects manhandled some journalists trying to take her photograph after the proceedings Wednesday.

Those beaten include Messrs Femi Ipaye (The News magazine), Jide Oyekunle (Daily Independent) as well as Rotimi Osasona of National Mirror newspaper.

The development, which left Osasona’s camera badly damaged, would have degenerated into a free-for-all, but for the timely intervention of other journalists who prevailed on their colleagues.

 

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

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Updated 6 Years ago
 

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