- from Taiwo Adisa with agency reports -
THE National Assembly committees on pension have been named as part of the beneficiaries of the pension scam that is growing in dimension and revelation, according to the statements written by some of the arrested suspects before the investigators of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A former Director of Police Pension Fund, Chief Esai Dangabar, who is standing trial along with five others for complicity in the N32.8 billion police pension fraud, continued to spill the beans on how several billions of naira meant for retired police officers was shared illegally among top government functionaries, including the National Assembly committees in charge of pension.
In his statement to the EFCC, dated February 14, 2012, Dangabar said part of N8.9 billion withdrawn between January 5, 2009 and December 23, 2009 was used to settle members of the Police Pension committees of the National Assembly to get the police pension fund’s budget passed by the lawmakers.
Dangabar and another suspect in the scam, John Yusuf Yakubu, who was the pension fund’s accountant, also listed as beneficiaries of the fraud certain people in the Auditor-General’s office, the Accountant-General’s office and the National Assembly.
Dangabar’s statement reads in part: “I was shown summary of cheques withdrawal, dated between 5th January 2009 and 23rd December 2009 totalling N8,920,371,822.24.
“The said sums of money mentioned above were used for the payment of police retirees.
“However, some amounts were also used for public relations to members of the Police Pension Committee of the National Assembly.
“The public relations monies were made as condition precedent before the budgets of the office were passed.”
In another statement he made on February 16, 2012, Dangabar also listed beneficiaries of some of the pension fund to include some persons in the offices of the Accountant-General and Auditor-General of the Federation.
“I was shown a copy of Yusuf Yakubu’s statement of February 14, 2012, where he mentioned various beneficiaries to the funds released to police pensions: namely National Assembly, Accountant-General Office, Auditor-General Office, but all through, when I was in office as director, I could not remember anything given to the Force Headquarters,” he said.
Others standing trial with Dangabar were the immediate past permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Niger Delta, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar Kigo; Alhaji Ahmed Inuwa Wada; John Yakuku Yusufu; Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Alhaji Habila Zira.
However, Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Wednesday, said the National Assembly would not accept any attempt to blackmail in by any of the suspects in the ongoing Pension fund scam.No. of Views:635