Pension fraud: EFCC tenders documents in court

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Spining

The accused persons were charged with four counts of fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, tendered two sets of documents in the prosecution of Dr. Shaibu Teidi and two others who are being tried before Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja over N2billion fraud.

The duo being prosecuted alongside Teidi are Alhaji Ali Abatcha and Actor Zal, President and Secretary General of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) respectively, for defrauding the NUP.

The counsel to the EFCC, Emmanuel Egwuagu, led two prosecution witnesses in evidence.

The witnesses were Njoku Everest, Assistant General Secretary of the Union and Chikezie Aguocha, an official of First Bank of Nigeria PLC who was subpoenaed on May 10, 2012. 

Everest tendered documents concerning total expenditure that was incurred by the Union, based on the money that accrued into the Union’s account between April 2008 and March 2011, while Aguocha also produced seven documents relating to the account of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners domiciled at the Garki branch of the bank within the stated period.

The accused persons were charged on four counts of conspiring by false pretences and, with intent to defraud, obtaining from the Pensions Department, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria, various sums in the aggregate amount of N2,290,593,322.35 and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 1(3)of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

Teidi, while in the Pensions Department, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria, allegedly used his position to overpay the Check-Off Dues to the NUP, which in turn returned the excess payment to Teidi.

In the proof of evidence presented before the court, Zal had, in his confessional statement to EFCC, alleged that of the Two Billion Naira that fraudulently accrued to NUP in the period of 2008 and 2011, Two Hundred and Forty Five Million Naira (N245,000,000) was allegedly given to Teidi as kickback.

According to Zal, the reason Teidi gave for his demand was for onward distribution to the Permanent Secretary, Head of Service, Accountant-General’s office, National Assembly and EFCC, to facilitate smooth payment of monthly pension to the pensioners.

After cross-examination of the prosecution witness by the defence counsels, led by S. Ameh, the court adjourned the case till October 16, 2012, for continuation of trial.

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