- Maina: EFCC Finds £6m Pension Cash in UK Bank
Detectives have traced about £6m pension funds to a United Kingdom bank account being managed by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation(OHCSF).
The cash is being suspected to have been tampered with by some government officials.
Two former Heads of the Civil Service of the Federation(Engr. E. Okeke and Prof. O. A. Afolabi) reportedly did their best to protect the funds from being tampered with.
Also yesterday, it was learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) had seized more houses believed to be owned by the embattled ex- chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina. He is one of the signatories to the UK bank account.
Besides, a former EFCC operative has been quoted as saying that he was prepared to speak up on how a minister contacted him to protect Maina.
But the operative said he would do so on oath if President Muhammadu Buhari raises a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the mismanagement of pension funds.
At least N2b is said to have been misappropriated. There are other funds, which are believed to have been stolen.
A former chairman of EFCC allegedly collected funds for a foreign trip from Maina. But a fact-sheet has debunked the claim.
The purported N5,476,000 estacodes remitted to the former EFCC chairman was actually paid into an account in a first generation bank, according to sources close to the investigation of the multibillion naira pension scandal.
The EFCC has continued its manhunt for Maina. It has located more of his assets.
A source said: “Our detectives have linked a large farm in Keffi to Maina and we are going to invoke Interim Assets forfeiture Clause in the EFCC (Establishment) Act.
“We have also sealed off two of the suspect’s houses at No. A5 B. Close and No. 9A in Kado Estate in Abuja. We have located some houses in Maiduguri too.
“So far, we have taken possession of the houses in Abuja and Kaduna.”
There was a twist yesterday following the release of a fact-sheet, which states that no former EFCC chairman collected N5,476,000 for overseas trips from Maina.
The document said: “It is hereby stated categorically that the former EFCC chairman never received any payment whatsoever in respect of any trip in OHCSF/Police Pensions and neither embark on such trips.
“That Estacode payments to the tune of N5,476,000 purportedly made for the Executive Chairman was discovered to have been paid into the First Bank acct. No. 4033010067733 belonging to one Christian Madubuike who is an account clerk with Police Pension office (PPO).
“The money was subsequently withdrawn from his account and handed over to Mr. John Yusuf (AD Accounts PPO). However John Yusuf admitted receiving the monies but claimed that he remitted same to Abdulrasheed Maina.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC traced about £6m pension funds to the UK and uncovered 66 pension accounts in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation(OHCSF).
There was suspicion that the £6m might have been tampered with by some government officials, who are now pension suspects.
The top source added: “The EFCC has done enough in unraveling pension fraud syndicate in OHCSF, Presidential Pension Reform Task Committee, Police Pension funds and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) check-off dues among others.
The source said: “It is certainly a huge racket by civil servants some of who are still in the system. For instance, our team uncovered £6m pension funds in an account in the UK. The money was for the payment of the pensions of some British colonial officers who served in Nigeria.
A report on the said account in the UK said: “In respect of the Federal Government 6million pounds sterling investment in the U.K with Crown agents, it is worth noting that the information was discovered as a result of a search executed in the residence of Dr. Shuaibu Sani Teidi during the course of our investigation.
“Dr. Shuaibu Sani Teidi failed to disclose the account during his handing over when he was leaving the Head of Service. Mr. Charles Bornant was invited and he confirmed that Dr. Shaibu did not disclose nor include the account in his handing over. Investigation into the account is still ongoing based on relevant information at our disposal.
“During the course of investigating fraud in the Pension office of the Head of Civil service of the Federation (OHCSF), a search warrant was executed in the residence of Dr. Shaibu Sani Teidi (former director Pension Accounts) where a laptop was recovered. From the analysis of the computer laptop, a document captioned “Report of the visit to Crown Agents Investment United kingdom” was discovered.
Ekiti Governor Unveils Multi-Billion Naira Relief Programmes Amid Economic Crisis
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has announced a comprehensive relief package aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the people of the state.
The relief programs encompass various sectors to cushion the impact of the economic downturn.
One of the key initiatives entails clearing salary arrears amounting to over N2.7 billion owed to both State and Local Government workers.
This move signifies the government’s commitment to addressing the financial burdens faced by its workforce.
Furthermore, Governor Oyebanji has approved a substantial increase of N600 million per month in the subvention of autonomous institutions, including the Judiciary and tertiary institutions.
This augmentation is intended to enable these institutions to implement wage awards in alignment with State and Local Government workers’ salaries.
In addition to addressing salary arrears, the relief programs extend to pensioners, with the approval of payments totaling N1.5 billion for two months’ pension arrears.
Moreover, an increase in the monthly gratuity payment to state pensioners and local government pensioners will provide additional financial support, totaling N200 million monthly.
The relief initiatives also encompass agricultural and small-scale business sectors.
The allocation of funds for food production and livestock transformation projects underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing food security and economic sustainability at the grassroots level.
Governor Oyebanji emphasized that these relief programs are part of the state’s concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of the economic downturn and foster shared prosperity.
The comprehensive nature of the initiatives reflects a proactive approach towards addressing the challenges faced by Ekiti State residents.
President Tinubu Orders Immediate Settlement of N342m Electricity Bill for Presidential Villa
President Bola Tinubu has directed the prompt settlement of a N342 million outstanding electricity bill owed by the Presidential Villa to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
This move comes in response to the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and the AEDC.
The AEDC had earlier threatened to disconnect electricity services to the Presidential Villa and 86 Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) over a total outstanding debt of N47.20 billion as of December 2023.
Contrary to the initial claim by the AEDC that the State House owed N923 million in electricity bills, the Presidency clarified that the actual outstanding amount is N342.35 million.
This discrepancy underscores the importance of accurate accounting and reconciliation between entities.
In a statement signed by President Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the Presidency affirmed the commitment to settle the debt promptly.
Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila assured that the debt would be paid to the AEDC before the end of the week.
The directive from the Presidency extends beyond the State House, as Gbajabiamila urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with the AEDC and settle their outstanding electricity bills.
The AEDC, on its part, issued a 10-day notice to the affected government agencies to settle their debts or face disconnection.
This development highlights the importance of financial accountability and responsible management of public utilities.
It also underscores the necessity for government entities to fulfill their financial obligations to service providers promptly, ensuring uninterrupted services and avoiding potential disruptions.
Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Issues Ultimatum to 86 Government Agencies Over N47bn Debt
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued an ultimatum to 86 government agencies, including the Presidential Villa, owing a collective debt of N47 billion.
The notice comes as a response to the prolonged failure of these agencies to settle their outstanding electricity bills.
According to the public notice released by the AEDC management, some of the highest debts are attributed to prominent entities such as the National Security Adviser (owing N95.9 billion), the Chief of Defence staff barracks, and military formations (indebted to the tune of N12 billion).
Also, several ministries, including the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and the Ministry of Power, have sizable outstanding bills.
The AEDC has expressed its frustration over the inability of these government bodies to honor their financial obligations despite previous attempts to facilitate payment.
In response, the company has warned of imminent disconnection of services if the outstanding debts are not settled within 10 days of the notice.
The outstanding debts are attributed to various factors including the devaluation of the naira, cash scarcity resulting from demonetization programs, high inflation rates, removal of fuel subsidies, and foreign exchange challenges.
These financial burdens have adversely impacted the operations of the AEDC, contributing to a loss of N99 million in foreign exchange alone.
As the deadline for payment approaches, government agencies are under pressure to address their outstanding debts to avoid service disruptions.
The AEDC remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that all entities fulfill their financial obligations, underscoring the importance of prompt payment for uninterrupted electricity services.
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