N18bn Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Ex-NSITF MD, 4 Others
Abuja, Nigeria. Nov. 24, 2017 (AltAfrika)-The Nigerian anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on has arraigned a former managing Director of Nigeria Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Umar Munir Abubakar and four others over alleged N18billion fraud.
Others arraigned before Justice Sylvanus Orji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on a 26-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and illegal diversion of public funds are; Henry Ekhasomi Sambo, Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe, Chief Richard U. Uche and Aderemi Adegboyega.
According to court documents, trouble started for Abubakar and his co-defendants (some of whom were former board members and current staff of NSITF), when a whistle blower petitioned the EFCC accusing them of abusing their positions to divert public funds running to billions of naira.
EFCC investigation revealed that between 2012 to 2015 they received kickbacks in dollars in the discharge of their duties, and conspired to divert the about N18 billion, being contribution from the Federal Government of Nigeria as take-off grants and Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The said money was diverted into personal accounts by an e-payment mandate. The offence contravenes Section 311 of the penal code cap 532 LFN (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under Section 312 of the same code.
One of the counts reads: “That you Umar Munir Abubakar “M” being the former managing director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Henry Ekhasomi Sambo “M” being General Manager Finance (NSITF), Sir Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe “M” being General Manager Legal Department (NSITF), Chief Richard U. Uche “M” being a former board member of (NSITF), Aderemi Adegboyega “M” being a former board member of (NSITF) and Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Olejeme “F” former board chairman (NSITF) (now at large). On or about 2012 to 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of Eighteen billion naira (N18,000,000,000), being contribution from the Federal Government of Nigeria as take-off grants and Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) for MDA’s.
The said sum was diverted into personal accounts by an e-payment mandate jointly signed by Umar Munir Abubakar and Henry Ekhasomi Sambo and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311 of the penal code cap 532 LFN (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under Section 312 of the same code”.
The accused persons pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and each was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with two sureties in like sum.
Their trial has been adjourned to February 5 to 7, 2018.