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EFCC arraigns Olejeme for alleged N69b fraud

By Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos)
21 October 2021   |   4:11 am
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will, today, arraign former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, for allegedly defrauding the agency of N69 billion.

Olejeme

• ICPC orders FSMLST employee to refund N1.3m
• Absence of defence counsel stalls trial of NAMA ex-MD, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will, today, arraign former Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, for allegedly defrauding the agency of N69 billion.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, told The Guardian, yesterday, that the former NSITF boss would be arraigned at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Jabi.

Olejeme, along with former Managing Director of NSITF, Umar Abubakar, allegedly diverted over N69 billion belonging to the fund. The amount was reportedly found in accounts linked to them after the award of spurious contracts to proxy companies.

Trouble started for Olojeme shortly after her sack by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. The EFCC received a petition alleging that over N50 billion from the Employee Compensation Scheme, paid by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as private companies, and another N18 billion being contributions of the Federal Government as take-off grants to the NSITF, were diverted into the personal accounts of the suspects.

RELATEDLY, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has asked Mr. Bot Yakubu, an employee of the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Science Technology (FSMLST), Jos, Plateau State, to refund N1,362,345.17 to its Recovery Account.

In a letter to Yakubu, made available to The Guardian, yesterday, entitled ‘Re–Investigation of Double Receipt of Emoluments’ by the ICPC and signed by Akeem Lawal, Director of Operations for the Chairman and copied the Resident Anti Corruption Commissioner, ICPC Office, Bauchi State, stated that the above case bordered on receipt of double emoluments from FSMLST and Plateau State Specialist Hospital, which was reported to the commission.

The letter read: “Findings from investigation revealed that you received N1,362,345.17 as a full-time staff of Plateau State Specialist Hospital from April 2012 to September 2012, whereas you were also in full-time employment at FSMLST, Jos, during the same period.

MEANWHILE, the trial of Ibrahim Abdulsalami, a former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and others for alleged N2.8 billion fraud before Justice Babs Kuewumi at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos State, could not continue yesterday due to the absence of a counsel representing one of the defendants.

Abdulsalami is facing trial alongside Nnamdi Udoh (still at large), Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Segun Agbolade, Clara Aliche, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, Randville Investment Limited and Multeng Travels and Tours Limited for conspiring to induce the agency to deliver N2.8 billion to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedule Systems Limited on the pretext that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.

At the resumed sitting yesterday, a lawyer who held a brief for Victor Opara, counsel to one of the defendants, told the court that her principal was in Abuja “for his SANship programme.”

She also told the court that Opara had written a letter seeking adjournment of the proceedings.

However, the prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari-Bala, while not opposing the counsel’s request for adjournment, told the court that she was not served with the letter written by Opara.

The matter was adjourned till December 8 and 9, 2021 for the continuation of trial.