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Court remands police pension convict in prison

By The Citizen
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John Yakubu Yusufu, former Director of Police Pension Office  who was again taken by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the Federal High Court, Abuja Division on a fresh four-count charge relating to his alleged false declaration of assets, was yesterday remanded in prison custody by the court.

The EFCC alleged that Yusufu failed to make a full disclosure of assets and liability in his assets declaration form relating to his interest in a company known as SY-A Global Services Limited.

One of the charges reads: 'That you John Yakubu Yusufu on or about February 14, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the Declaration of Assets Form filled in by you, by not declaring your interest in the N250,000,000 (Two hundred and fifty million naira) you lodged in a fixed deposit account with the Zenith Bank in the name of SY-A Global Services Limited, a company in which you are the sole signatory to its account and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 27(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc) ACT CAP E1 2004.'

After the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty and EFCC's counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), prayed the court to remand the accused in prison custody and set a date for trial.

But counsel to the defendant, Gabriel Tsenyen, prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable him to apply formally for his client's bail. In the interim, he also prayed the court to remand Yusufu in EFCC custody.

In his ruling, Justice Adamu Bello declined and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to March 1, 2013.

Yusufu who was convicted on Tuesday, January 28, 2013 after pleading guilty to the charge of stealing N23.3 billion from the pension office, is alleged to have used the company to lodge N250 million with a new generation bank.

He was among six top officials of the Police Pension Office arraigned by the EFCC on March 29, 2012, on 16-count criminal charges bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

The other accused persons are Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira. Kigo was the director of the Police Pension Office before he was made permanent secretary.  They allegedly stole over N32.8billion from the police pension office.

Last Monday, Justice Mohammed Talba convicted and sentenced Yusufu to two years imprisonment on each of the three counts charge which should run concurrently with the option of a fine in the tune of N250,000 per charge.