Alleged N32.8bn Pension Fraud: Court grants EFCC leave to amend charge
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an FCT High Court on Monday, granted leave to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to file amended charge against a director in the Police Pension Office, Atiku Kigo and five others, charged with alleged N32.8 billion police pension funds.
Others charged are Esai Dangabar; Ahmed Wada; Mrs Veronica Onyegbulam; Sani Zira; Uzoma Attang and Christian Madubuike before
Justice Baba-Yusuf ordered the EFCC to file the amended charge in which the name of the seventh defendant as well as the counts 19 and 20 have been removed.
He then adjourned the case until , Feb. 18 for the defendants to take their plea.
They were charged with conspiracy and criminal breach of trust in the misappropriation of police pension fund to the tune of N14billion.
NAN reports that Dangabar (1st defendant) died on July 24, 2019 in the course of the trial .
At the resumed hearing of the case , EFCC counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that there were two further amended charges filed by the prosecution before the court.
The charges, according to him, were dated Dec. 5, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2019 respectively.
He prayed for the withdrawal of Dec. 5, 2019 charge , the peayer was granted.
Atolagbe told the court that pursuant to Sections 216 and 218 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), the charge filed on December 20, 2019 be admitted as further amended charge and be read to the defendants.
Counsel for Onyegbulam, Mr Earnest Ikeji, however, drew the attention of the court to the fact that a new defendant, John Yakubu Yusuf, was added to the defendants as the seventh defendant but he was not present in court.
He, therefore, sought the intervention of the court on whether the defendants could take their plea in the absence of the seventh defendant.
Responding , Atolagbe told the court that Yusuf had been convicted and since he (the seventh defendant) was involved in the scam his name could not have been removed from the charge.
He, however, applied that the court strike out both the name of John Yakubu Yusuf and counts 19 and 20 of the amended charge from the face of the charge.
Ikenna Uwadileke and Edith Nwapi