EFCC seeks forfeiture of proceeds in N3 billion pension scam

EFCC Operatives used to illustrate the story.
EFCC Operatives used to illustrate the story.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, asked Justice Abdul Kafarati of a Federal High Court, Abuja to order the interim forfeiture of the properties belonging to officials of pension office accused of corruption.

A former deputy director in the Pension Unit of the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Phina Chidi​,​ and a former cash pay officer in the same office, Garba Tahir, are standing trial for diverting over N3​ ​billion.

The request, which was brought through an ex parte motion, is seeking the confiscation of their properties, pending the determination of the case against them.

Moving the application, counsel to EFCC, Emmanuel Egwuagu, prayed the court to grant all the reliefs sought in the ex parte originating summons dated May 20, 2015 and filed June 9, 2015.

He urged the judge to rely on all arguments canvassed in the originating summons to support the application.

While Mr. Tahir is facing a one-count charge bordering on diversion of N47,251,354, while Mr. Chidi is standing trial on a 12-count charge bordering on diversion of pension funds and money laundering to the tune of N3billion.

Mr. Phina also allegedly connived with a company, Pam Investments Properties Ltd, to commit an offence under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, by retaining $2million property belonging to the Pensions Account between 2009 and 2011.

The offence is contrary to Section 16(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 as amended.

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