Just as the nation is still recovering from the shock of the arrest of some top public officers including the former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation in connection with a N4.56 billion pension fund scam, another one has been uncovered. This one is a police pension scheme where some managers of the scheme allegedly used bank accounts where the pension funds were kept to enrich themselves.
The latest discovery involved an account opened with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) where the pension fund estimated at N3 billion was deposited on the same day. Other banks such as First Bank, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank, GTBank and Skye Bank were summoned by the Senate on Tuesday 3rd April, 2012. However, only UBA was represented at the sitting by one of its executive directors.
A report by Thisday states that the account in UBA was opened without the authorization of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
“The Joint Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration yesterday said it had uncovered another bank account used by managers of police pension scheme to illegally enrich themselves.
The latest discovery involved an account opened with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) where the pension fund estimated at N3 billion was deposited on the same day.
It was also said to have been opened without the authorisation of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
The account in question was opened in the name of one Adamu Salihu and “DG” (an apparent abbreviation for Director General) but with different code numbers.”
The representative of UBA, Dan Okeke, was grilled by the committee members on the existence of an account bearing two different names with documents and evidence confirming their allegations and findings.
“When confronted with the documents showing the dual-ownership account, Okeke told the lawmakers that it was not possible for one account to bear two different names or for two different persons to operate same account. He said if such a thing happens at all, it would be a major anomaly that the bank had to look into.
When the co-chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, probed further and showed Okeke the documents in his possession, the bank chief said there was an approval for the opening of the account but could not say if it was before or after it was opened.
He requested the permission of the senators to go back to his office and bring a copy of the letter of approval.”
A summons was issued to the managing directors of the seven banks and the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, to appear before the committee when it resumes from the Easter break on April 16.
Meanwhile, after six days at Kuje Prison on remand, Kigo, Dangabar and four other top Federal Government workers accused of diverting N32.8 billion police pension fund were granted bail by an Abuja High Court yesterday.
They were granted bail in the sum of N10 million each and two sureties each in like sum.
Hopefully, justice will be delivered on this case and the culprits would be punished accordingly.
It is no news that the police are some of the most underpaid workers in the society. The rate at which they collect bribes and sometimes steal from innocent citizens is totally alarming. They use the excuse of not being well paid to extract money from people in several ways. If their pensions or salaries are not managed properly, it only gives them more audacity to continue with such unscrupulous acts.
News Source: Thisday