By Joy Baba
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of seven persons accused of complicity in the billion naira Police Pension fraud, Mustapha Sani Gadanya, has told Justice Hussein Baba of the Federal Capital
Territory High Court how 400 cheques were cashed in a day by the accused persons.
This was disclosed in a statement issued Tuesday by Wilson Uwujaren, Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Over 400 cheques were withdrawn and we got this information from the bank statement furnished us by First Bank Plc”, Gadanya said.
“Led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Gadanya told the court that he obtained and analyzed the certified true copy of instruments used in making withdrawals in the name of Veronica Onyegbula and the Directors of Police Pension office – Esai Dangaba, Atiku Kigo Abubakar and Inuwa Wada.
“We discovered that the three directors are all signatories to the fraudulent cheques. We also discovered that Mrs Uzoma Cyril Attang, John Yusuf, Gabriel Ikpe, Mike Okoro and one Mrs Amu (currently at large), are among those who signed the cheques”.
The statement said Gadanya further told the court that the directors carried out the cheque transactions without any letter of exemption from compliance with the e-payment circular from the office of the Accountant General.
Uwujaren also said Gadanya went on to state that between 31st January, 2011 and 6th May, 2011 over N1 billion was withdrawn and that the sum of N650 million was withdrawn on 31st January, 2011.
Gadanya also told the court that between February and May 2011 when Inuwa Wada was the director of the police pension office, he withdrew about N850 million, while over N4 billion was withdrawn between December 2009 and January, 2011 when Atiku Kigo Abubakar was the director of the police pension office.
Also over N14 billion was withdrawn during Esai Dangabar’s tenure from January 2008 to November 2009, bringing the total amount siphoned from the police pension account to N20 billion in flagrant violation of extant financial regulations.