The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today said it has achieved some success in the prosecution of pension fraud cases. Briefing journalists in Abuja, the agency’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said the Commission has called several witnesses in many of the cases under trial and succeed in securing the final forfeiture of a property linked to Shuaibu Teidi, former director, Pension Accounts, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, who is facing a 22-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, conspiracy to commit fraud and concealing the origin of stolen pension funds to the tune of N18.3 billion.
The said property, Brifina Hotel, which is located at Plot 1106 Cadastral Zone, Durumi District, Abuja, was allegedly acquired by Teidi through his company, Badawulu Ventures, for three hundred and thirty nine million naira.
However, he said, the accused person denied ownership of the property despite claims by the original owner that he sold itproperty to Teidi. On the basis of his denial, the EFCC approached the Federal High Court to seek for a final forfeiture order which was granted by Justice Adeniyi Ademola. The Commission had earlier secured an interim order of forfeiture on the property from Justice Adamu Bello.
Like the pension cases, the Commission has also made appreciable progress in the various oil subsidy cases which are ongoing in court. He said several witnesses have been called to give evidence before the court in some of the cases. However, he said one of the accused persons, Seun Ogunbambo has become a fugitive of the law and has consequently been declared wanted by the Commission. He called on Nigerians with useful information on the whereabouts of Ogunbambo to contact the Commission at the head office or any of the zonal offices in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kano, Gombe or Enugu.
On the issue of the assets recovered by the Commission from the former governor of Bayelsa State, Dieprieye Alamiyeseigha, Uwujaren said it was unfortunate that some people decided to stir needless controversy in an already settled matter. “I am sure some of you were witnesses in 2010, precisely July 10, 2010, when the assets recovered from Alamiyeseigha were handed over to the Bayelsa State government. Timipre Sylva, then governor of the state was on hand to receive the assets which included Chelsea Hotel, Abuja from former chairman of EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri,” he said.
Uwujaren said it was gratifying that the Bayelsa State government acted responsibly by distancing itself from such action.“If there are issues arising from the handling of the case, or any other case(s) for that matter, the Commission as a responsible corporate organization is willing to entertain such issues. However, “EFCC will not succumb to the blackmail of any one,” he posited.
Mr. Uwujaren further disclosed that the Commission has stepped up the investigation of judges and other judicial officers accused of corruption. According to him, some of the judicial officers have already been quizzed by the agency while others are still being expected to report for interrogation.
The head, Media and Publicity seized the opportunity to inform the media about the condemnable attack on one of the operatives of the Commission, Jonathan Barde, by a suspect, Tajudeen Oluwanishola. The operative of the Commission was knocked down by Oluwanishola with his car in order to avoid arrest. The suspect has however been arrested by the Commission and would be prosecuted.
Media & Publicity