Controversy over N3.2b fraud charge against PenCom director general
The Nigeria Police Force have commenced the interrogation of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) Director-General, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, over allegation of embezzling N3.2b, tax evasion, total disregard of court orders and other unlawful activities, leveled against it by the First Guarantee Pensions Limited (FGPL).
The move was based on the refusal of the company to comply with the directives of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, that the board of FGPL, headed by Nze Chidi Duru, in accordance with the board resolutions should continue their business at FGPL.
The commencement of the investigation was as a result of the Inspector-General of Police order to the Police Zone 2 Headquarters to enforce the directives of the Attorney General on the matter.
Meanwhile, PenCom yesterday denied that the company was being questioned.The Guardian learnt that between Thursday, January 12, 2017 to Monday, January 17, the embattled FGPL Vice Chairman, Duru and his Legal Adviser, Barrister Smart Iheazor were arrested and detained by the AIG Zone 2, Lagos, allegedly on the order of Director-General of PenCom, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, and others were arraigned in Magistrate Court, Tinubu, Lagos, in connection with issues of FGPL belonging to Duru and other shareholders, which the court have dealt with.
Duru had sought the protection of the police through the Inspector General of Police and his request granted, but now claim that the police on wrong information turned around to arrest and arraign him and his legal adviser for armed robbery and other allegations.
The officer in charge of the investigation was contacted on phone yesterday and he confirmed that the investigation of the PenCom boss was ongoing, but refused to make further comment, noting that he is a civil servant and could not talk to journalists. said all enquiries should be forwarded to the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), who is in the best position to comment on the matter.
Police Spokesman at the force headquarters, Mr. Jimoh Moshood denied any directive to investigate the DG saying ”I am not aware.” But a source in the force confirmed that the interrogation had commenced, noting that it was the company secretary that attended to the police investigation team.
Head, Corporate Communication of PenCom, Mr. Emeka Onourah said no security personnel were anywhere near the DG yesterday, even as he said PenCom has resolved not to comment on the issue because the matter is pending in several courts.
Meanwhile, FGPL has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), to investigate PenCom over the allegations.
The petitioner said its shareholders are appalled by the desperate and unlawful positions that Amazu and PenCom have continued to take, claiming the company has been responsible for mismanagement of FGPL for six years.
Smart Iheazor, company secretary and legal adviser who signed the petition on behalf of FGPL, faulted those denying the allegation, saying he was invited by the police in Lagos to endorse the petition following the IG’s directive to investigate the matter.