N32.8bn Police Pension scam: We have enough evidence to nail Kigo, 5 others -EFCC

N32.8bn Police Pension scam: We have enough evidence to nail Kigo, 5 others -EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, said it had enough evidence to prove that a former Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. Mr. Atiku Abubakar Kigo, conspired with five other civil servants and diverted N32.8 billion from the Nigeria Police Pension Funds.

The anti-graft agency stated this on a day the accused persons approached an Abuja High Court at Gudu, begging it to quash the entire 16-count charge preferred against them by the commission for want of evidence.

Besides Kigo, those charged by the EFCC were Mr Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.

EFCC, in a counter affidavit it filed in opposition to the motion seeking to quash the charge against them maintained that its investigations revealed that the accused persons sequentially withdrew monies from Police Pension funds domiciled in an account at FirstBank of Nigeria.

It told the court that the withdrawn monies totalling about N32.8 billion were subsequently shared between the Permanent Secretary and the other accused persons who it said were signatories to the police pension fund account.

Insisting that it has sufficient prima-facie evidence capable of securing their conviction, EFCC told the court that the 3rd accused person, Mr Inuwa Wada, collected N18 million from Unity Bank Plc as his reward for ensuring that the Police Pension Account was retained in the bank.

It noted that the said fraud was perpetuated between January 2009 and June 2011, saying the offence amounted to a criminal breach of trust, punishable under sections 97, 315, 115(ii), 119 and 309 of the Penal Code Act Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007.

Meanwhile, the accused persons, yesterday, asked the court to allow them to study the counter-affidavit  filed against their application by the EFCC, contending that the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, served it on them in the court premises.

They further expressed determination to join issues with the prosecuting agency on points of law with a view to showing that there was no nexus linking them to the commission of the alleged offence.

Consequently, trial Justice Talba adjourned the case till July 17, to take arguments on the applications for quash.

Some of the charge against them read:“That you Esai Abubakar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Atiku Abubakr Kigo, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira, between January 2009 and June 2011 at Abuja Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory agreed to do an illegal act, to wit: criminal breach of trust by public officers in respect of the sum of N14,518,567,724.36 (Fourteen Billion, Five Hundred and Eighteen Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Four Naira and Thirty Six Kobo) and that the same act was done in pursuance of the agreement among you and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja , Nigeria 2007”.

“That you Esai Dangabar, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira, between January and December 2009 at Abuja in the Abuja Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being public officers in the service of the government of the Federation and in such capacity entrusted with certain property, to wit: the sum of N8,920,371,822.24 (Eight Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty Million, Three Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty Two Naira and Twenty Four Kobo)which sum formed part of Nigeria Police Pension funds in the account domiciled at the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007”.

“That you Atiku Abubakar Kigo, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Uloma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira, between January 2010 and February 2011 at Abuja in the Abuja Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being public officers in the service of the Government of the Federal Government and in such capacity entrusted with certain property, to wit: the sum of N4, 739,894.896.06 ( Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ninety Six Naira and Six Kobo) which sum formed part of the Nigerian Police Pension funds in the account domiciled at the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 315 of the Penal Code Act. Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007.”

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