EFCC traces N1.1b pension cash to woman accountant… suspects to face trial today
With the new revelation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that about N1, 141, 309, 080.25 has been traced to a chief accountant in the Police Pension Office, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, there seems to be no end to the Police Pension fund scandal.
According to EFCC, the fraud was allegedly perpetrated through seven companies. About 20 assets have been traced to her.
The suspect will be arraigned today before Justice Hussain Baba of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja.
She is facing trial alongside six others, including a suspended Permanent Secretary, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira, and Christian Madubuke.
The other six suspects were arraigned before Justice Abubakar Talba on January 28, but there are indications that all pension fraud cases may have been withdrawn from Justice Talba.
Justice Talba is being investigated by the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the controversial judgement he gave in respect of a pension fraud convict, John Yakubu Yusuf.
The convict, who admitted involvement in a N32.5billion pension fraud, was sentenced by Justice Talba to two years imprisonment with an option of N250,000 fine for each of the three counts.
But the EFCC last night said the trial of the woman and six others would begin afresh today.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: 'The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has concluded arrangement to arraign another major suspect in the billion naira Police Pension scam. Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang will on Wednesday April 10, 2013 be docked before Justice Hussain Baba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja on charges bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust.
'She allegedly abused her position to enrich herself while she served as chief accountant in the Police Pension Office between 2003 and 2008.
'She is to be arraigned alongside Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira, and Christian Madubuke. The other six suspects will be taking fresh pleas, having previously been arraigned before Justice Abubakar Talba on January 28, 2013.
'Attang, who was absent in court when the others were first arraigned, was in charge of the police pension fund when N7.8billion was stolen through 10,863 cheques.
'She was also discovered to have personally signed 1,042 cheques to the tune of N1, 141,309,080.25.
'Investigation revealed that Mrs. Attang used several companies to defraud the Police Pension Office.
'Some of the companies, which she allegedly used, are Royal Diadem Business Logistic Limited, Amazing Grace Property Development Company, Enyiuzo Ventures Limited, Status Symbols Rentals Limited, Status Travels and Tours Limited, Quillponte and Anifon Nigeria Limited.
'Operatives of the Commission have traced more than 20 assets to her, which are currently under investigation.'
Mrs Attang could not be reached for comments last night.