Tuesday, May 10, 2011

N12bn pension scam: EFCC arraigns ex-Director, 5 others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned a former Director of the Pensions Department, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Sani Teidi Shuaibu, alongside five other persons, following the alleged roles they played in the illegal diversion of N12 billion from government coffers through fictitious contract claims.

Others who took turns yesterday to plead “not guilty” to a 134-count criminal charge bordering on corruption, abuse of office and advance fee fraud, were former Deputy to the pension boss, Mrs. Phina Chidi; his personal assistant, Aliyu Bello, Abdullahi Omeiza, Garba Abdullahi Tahir and Emmanuel Olanipekun

The anti-graft agency insisted that they conspired and swindled the Federal Government through over 130 bogus contracts purportedly awarded to 25 different companies, adding that the alleged scam was perpetrated between 2008 and 2010.

EFCC went ahead and listed 26 companies that participated in the alleged fraud as defendants in the case, just as it, yesterday, discharged one of the earlier accused persons, Mohammed Katun Ahmed.

Having pleaded not guilty to all the 134-count charge, counsel to the accused persons, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, and S.I. Ameh, SAN, pleaded the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.

Consequently, Justice Adamu Bello granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N10 million each and adjourned the matter to June 30 for hearing.

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