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N32.8BN PENSION SCAM: TRIAL OF PERM SEC, OTHERS STALLED

By NBF News
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The trial of six civil servants, accused of stealing N32.8 billion from police pension funds, could not hold yesterday due to the failure of the defense to serve the prosecution with court processes.

The case is being presided over by Justice Mohammed Talba of the FCT High Court.

The accused persons are Esai Dangabar, Atiku Kigo (Permanent Secretary), Ahmed Wada (Director), John Yusufu (Assistant Director), Mrs Veronica Onyegbula (Cashier) and Sani Zira (ICT Officer).

The officers, former staff of the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, were arraigned on a 16-count criminal charge of conspiracy and criminal breach of trust by the EFCC.

It will be recalled that the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) on April 14 suspended the five serving federal civil servants following allegations of fraud at the Police Pensions Office.

The suspension took effect from March 29.
At the resumed trial, EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs told the court that the counsel to the three accused persons had yet to obey the order of the judge, which he gave on May 28, to serve the prosecution with all processes.

Jacobs told the court that the counsel only served him with their motion to quash the charges in open court.

'My Lord, the matter is for the hearing of the motion by the three of the accused persons for the criminal charges to be quashed and also for reply on points of law.

'I am not sure that the matter can go on because we find ourselves in a tight corner. I was only served with the motion today before the court started sitting.

'I remember, My Lord, on May 28, ordered the counsel to the three accused persons to serve the prosecution before June 25. But they waited for 21 days to pass before doing that in court'.