By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—Kogi State Government said it has uncovered a N4.3 billion pension fraud perpetrated under the administrations of former governors Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada, between 2010 and 2015.
The Director General, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, who stated this yesterday, said the fraud was revealed through an audit by a private firm engaged by Governor Yahaya Bello.
Fanwo said the audit report shows the syndicate diverted the pension and gratuity funds to private accounts, using names of unintended beneficiaries to the detriment of pensioners in the state.
According to Fanwo, “on assumption of office, Governor Yahaya Bello, miffed by the level of unpaid pensions in the state, ordered a comprehensive audit of pension funds in the state.
“The revelations of the audit have been mind-boggling, revealing the humongous fraud in the pension administration under the two administra-tions in the state.
“The governor has directed the publication of the full reports, promising that anyone found culpable will be prosecuted to explain their heinous crimes against innocent pensioners in the state.
“We have been repaying bonds that were either stolen or misapplied. We are repaying loans that were taken and stolen by previous administrations. These are the things affecting our liquidity as a state.”