BY Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, said it had re-arrested one of the six persons accused of complicity in the alleged illegal diversion of N32.8 billion from Police Pension Fund, PPF, Esai Dangabar, for interfering with the property, which the court had ordered forfeited to the Federal Government.
Dangabar is answering to a 16-count criminal charge alongside Mr. Atiku Kigo, Ahmed Wada, John Yusufu, Mrs Veronica Onyegbula and Sani Zira.
EFCC had alleged that the accused persons conspired and sequentially withdrew monies from PPF in an account domiciled at First Bank of Nigeria and shared it amongst themselves, adding that the third accused person, Inuwa Wada, collected N18 million from Unity Bank Plc, as his reward for retaining the Police Pension Account with the bank.
The commission maintained that the fraud was perpetuated between January 2009 and June 2011.
EFCC said their offence, which bothers on conspiracy, fraud and criminal breach of trust, is punishable under sections 97, 315, 115(ii), 119 and 309, of the Penal Code Act Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007.
It would be recalled that the court had ordered Dangabar’s property forfeited to the Federal Government on interim basis pending the determination of the substantive suit.
However, the accused person had gone before the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal to challenge the order of the High Court to have his property forfeited. Nevertheless, the appeal court, in a unanimous ruling on July 24, dismissed his application.
In a ruling read by Justice Kolawole Bada, the appellate Court resolved the three issues raised by Dangabar in favour of the EFCC.
Two other justices who held the same view were Justices Bukar Chua and Husseini Mukhtar.
The court ruled that the interim forfeiture order pending the hearing of the criminal charge preferred against him is provided for under the EFCC Act.
“The court, having been given that power, the exercise of it has not taken away the accused right to fair hearing,” the three justices reasoned.
The court further ruled that the provisions of Section 28 and 29 of the EFCC Act is validated by Section 44 (2) of the 1999 Constitution and is therefore constitutional. Additionally, the court ruled that the presumption of innocence cannot be interpreted to allow a suspect to retain the proceeds of the alleged crime made against him.
Accordingly, the court ruled that Section 34 of the EFCC Act was substantially complied with by the lower court.
He has again proceeded to the Supreme Court challenging the Appeal Court judgment.
Dangabar and the other accused persons returned to the high court to challenge jurisdiction and prayed the court to quash the charges against them.
Meantime, on November 12 Justice Mohammed Talba of the FCT High Court at Gudu declined to quash the charges against the accused person, stressing that there was sufficient prima-facie evidence linking him to the alleged crime.
Dangabar’s forfeited property
Block of three bedrooms flats at Gwarinpa (6 units), along EFAB Estate, Life Camp; a Block of bedrooms flats (6 units) at Mabushi District, beside Ministry of Works.
Other are Estate of four bedroom duplexes (16 units), behind Wuye Modern Market, Abuja; a mini estate at 19, Ukpabi Asika Street, Asokoro, Abuja; 12 units of two bedroom flats at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; five bedroom duplexes at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; four bedroom bungalows at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja and two bedroom flat at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout.
Others were: five blocks of one bedroom flats at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout, Abuja; twin duplex of five bedroom and three rooms, 33, ML Wushishi BQ 1 Crescent, Utako, Abuja; two blocks of three bedroom flats, Area 3, Former NYSC Office, Abuja; two bedroom, Area 2, Abuja, behind Shopping Complex; three bedroom flats, 2 Goran Village, along Adi Farms Limited, Abuja-Keffi Road; 180,000 litres storage facility on a land of about 5,000sqm, with office building, workshop and 20 loading bay, 1 Suleja, Niger State.
Seven trucks with registration numbers XH 909 RSH, XH 910 RSH, XH 912 RSH, XH 908 RSH, XH 911, XH 913 RSH and XH 460 KUJ.
Dangabar’s bank accounts forfeited to the government were: two Damule Nigeria Limited accounts with FCMB; Damule Nigeria Limited account with Main Street Bank; E. D. Laumara with Access Bank; three account numbers of Essai Dangabar Laumara’s with Access Bank; Laumara E. Taure account with Skye Bank; three of AMD Global Logistics account with Skye Bank; two accounts of Future Logistics Limited with Skye bank; three accounts of Marine Logistics & Leisure Integrated in Skye Bank; two Damule Nig Ltd accounts in Skye Bank.
Companies forfeited to the EFCC were Halas Investment Limited; At Homes; Sy-A Global Services Limited; Jidag Technical Services Limited; Damule Nigeria Limited; Marine Logistics; AMD Global Logistics; Future Logistics Ltd; Jenago Services Limited; H Takano Nigeria Limited; Noni Anthony System Limited; Saudauna Enterprise limited; Ulover International Resources Limited; Somadok Express; Kechis Water Bottling Company; Kechis Events Managers; Kechis Straw; Kechis Plastic Extrusion company.
Others are Geopet Petroleum Services Limited; Aina Farms: Otega Farms, Bannachi Global Links and Comm. Co. Limited.