The scheduled hearing of a bail application filed by convicted former deputy director at Nigeria’s Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yakubu Yusufu was stalled on Tuesday due to an ongoing conference in Lagos which the judge is attending.
Pension Thief Yusuf: to remain in jail till 4 March
Yusufu was recently arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Federal High Court siting in Abuja on a 4-count charge of false assets declaration.The anti graft agency alleged that Mr. Yusufu, had on 14th February, 2012, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of his assets and liability in the Declaration of Assets Form which he filled by not declaring his interest in a company known as SY-A Global Services Limited, incorporated by him and solely owned by him and members of his immediate family.
The offence is said to be punishable under section 27(3) of the EFCC Act, 2004. He was also alleged to have failed to declare his interest in a N250 million fixed deposit which was fixed in the name of the said company in an account it maintains at Zenith Bank International Plc. The former Pensions boss is the sole signatory to the company’s account. The company was also alleged to have another N10 million fixed deposit in an account it maintains at First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
EFCC also accused Yusufu of fixing another N29 million through one Mr. Danjuma Mele who is also scheduled to testify as a witness in the trial. The sum was allegedly fixed on the instruction of Mr. Yusufu through Mele’s company, Jidag Technical Services Ltd’s account in Diamond Bank Plc. Yusufu was recently arraigned alongside other former officials of the Pension Office over allegations of pilfering about N39 billion from the Pension funds and he pleaded to counts 18, 19 and 20 wherein he allegedly connived with the other accused persons to embezzle the sum of N24 billion Naira belonging to the Police Pension Office.
Following his guilty plea, Justice Talba Mohammed of the High Court sentenced him to 2 years imprisonment for each of the counts which is to run concurrently with an option of a fine of N750,000 which he quickly paid to avoid going to jail. On the asset declaration related offences, the convict pleaded not guilty to the alleged crimes and was subsequently remanded at Kuje prisons pending his trial which the court, presided by Justice Adamu Bello, fixed for 1st March. The court however later scheduled hearing of his bail application for Tuesday. Yusufu, by this development, would have to remain in prison custody until 4 March when his bail application is rescheduled to take place.