N5.6bn pension scam: EFCC not ready for trial

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Ibadan – Mr Veral Agboje, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said on Friday that she was not ready to commence trial in the N5.6 billion pension scam case involving ex-Oyo state Head of service, Alhaja Kudirat Adeleke, and 11 others.

Adeleke and the other accused persons were arraigned for allegedly defrauding the Oyo State Local Government Staff Pension Board to the tune of N5.6 billion.

Agboje said that on June 20 she applied for a certified true copy of the proceeding of June 18 so as to know the next line of action on the matter.

It would be recalled that Justice Adegboye Gbolagunte on June 18 granted bail to the defendants.

However, Richard Ogunwole (SAN), Counsel to Adeleke, told the court that the international passport of his client was still in the custody of the EFCC and urged the court to order the EFCC to release the document.

Ogunwole said that his client was given bail on the grounds of ill health, and that if her passport was not released there was no way she could travel for treatment and that her condition was deteriorating.

The EFCC’s counsel told the court that Ogunwole ought to have filed an application demanding the release of the passport.

She said that if this had been done she would have replied to tell the court whether the international passport was with the EFCC or not.

“I cannot categorically state whether the international passport is in the custody of the EFCC or not,”’ Agboje said.

Gbolagunte then ordered Ogunwole to file a formal application and adjourned the case to Oct. 24 for hearing.

The  defendants were arraigned on a 213-count charge, which included conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, fraud and forgery.

Latona said the defendants conspired to obtain the N5.6 billion from three banks – FCMB, Stanbic and Zenith – by false representation using the names of pensioners.

The prosecutor said the offences were committed between September 2010 and March 2011.

He said the offences contravened sections 516, 390 (9) and 417 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The hearing continues on Monday July 14. (NAN)

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