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#Nigeria N32.8b pension fund: Court grants EFCC leave to seize 108 assets

Chairman Mr Ibrahim Lamorde
Chairman Mr Ibrahim Lamorde

An Abuja High Court yesterday granted leave to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize 108 assets belonging to the six accused persons standing trial over alleged diversion of N32.8 billion Police Pension Fund.

The order followed an application by the EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, seeking leave to seize the assets allegedly belonging to the accused persons.

Acting under Section 28 of the EFCC Act 2004, the commission attached the list of the assets belonging to the accused persons.

The accused persons are a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Atiku Abubakar Kigo; a director, Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.

They are facing a 16-count charge of criminal breach of trust slammed against them by the EFCC.

The alleged offence is punishable under Sections 97, 115 (ii), 119, 309 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap. 532 Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Lawal Gummi granted the interim order for the seizure of the assets, alleged to be scattered all over Nigeria.

The case has been adjourned till May 28, for continuation of hearing.

The accused allegedly between January 2009 and June 2011 in Abuja diverted a sum of N14,518,567,724 being part of police pension cash from an account domiciled at First Bank Plc.

Between January and December 2009 in Abuja, they also allegedly breached the public trust with N8,920,371,822 police pension fund kept at First Bank Plc.

The charge sheet also indicated that between January 2010 and February 2011 also in Abuja, they diverted another sum of N4,739,894,896 police fund and another N858,301,006 between February and June 2011 diverted from the same source.

They were also accused of stealing N656,559,289 in January 2011 while in March 2009 another N462,963,012 was allegedly diverted from the same source while working at the police  pension office among others.

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