N32.8bn police pension scam: Court dismisses application to quash charges

The suspects are being arraigned for defrauding the Police Pension Office.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, sitting in Gudu, Abuja, Monday, dismissed the applications to quash charges filed by four of the six persons arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against the commission.

The judge, Mohammed Talba, dismissed the application by the accused who are being prosecuted for their role in defrauding the Police Pension Office of about N32 billion.

The six suspects are Esai Dangabar, Atiku Kigo, Ahmed Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Veronica Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.

Mr. Kigo was the director of the Police Pension Office, before he was made permanent secretary.

They had filed applications before the court, urging for the quashing of the charges against them on the grounds that the court not only lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case, but that the charges against them were frivolous and lacking in merit.

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But in his ruling, Mr. Talba said the applicants failed to supply relevant material before the court to warrant the quashing of the case against them. He also said that based on the proof of evidence before the court, the prosecution presented its case in such a way that a prima-facie has been established against them.

The judge, however, adjourned the case till January 28, 2013, to hear the argument in respect of the applications filed by the first and third accused persons, Esai Dangabar and Ahmed Wada respectively, to quash the charges against them.

The accused persons who were arraigned on March 29 on a 16-count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust were on April 3 granted bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must not be less than an officer on grade level 14.

The sureties, the judge also said, must live within the jurisdiction of the court. The sureties must, however, depose to affidavit of means which must be verified by the EFCC. The accused persons are also to deposit their international passports before the court.

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