The former chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, has claimed that the alleged $48.5 million fraud, over which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) invited and detained her, was looted by some officials of NSITF while she was on medical trip abroad.
She also said that her invitation and detention by the anti-graft agency has nothing to do with former President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Finance Committee.
She made these claims in a statement by her Media Aide, Stanley Imoko, on Tuesday, stressing that no money has been traced to her account, neither has any been traced to the Jonathan campaign organisation nor the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the EFCC had claimed.
Dr. Olejeme said she only got to know that some officials of the agency were busy diverting the NSITF’s funds when “she was declared wanted by EFCC for alleged diversion of several billions of Naira by her and the management.
“More shocking to her was the conspiracy of some of the management staff of the agency to heap all their nefarious activities on her head while she was away, on the demonic understanding that she may not come back to defend herself, having known of her health challenge while abroad.”
On claims in the media over Dr. Olejeme’s travails with the EFCC, the statement said, “Our attention has been drawn to erroneous media reports about the circumstance surrounding the issues Dr Ngozi Olejeme is currently having with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“While we recognise the constitutional right of the media to inform the public, we are inclined to set the records straight by stating what has transpired so far between Dr. Ngozi Olejeme and the EFCC.
“Dr. Olejeme who was declared wanted three months ago by EFCC for alleged diversion of several billions of Naira in NSITF where she was a part time chairman during the last administration turned herself in voluntarily to EFCC on Monday the 18th of December, 2017 in order to clear her name which the alleged story of diversion tried to smear.
“Dr Olejeme was appointed a part time chairman of the agency when the agency was moribund and comatose having been divested of its core responsibility of managing pension funds of Nigerian workers by the New Reform Pension Act of 2004.
“Dr Olejeme’s dexterity saw the enactment of a new law by the National Assembly that gave some responsibilities (like social scheme compensation for employees who suffer injury or death in the course of their duties) to the agency and which resurrected the agency back to life.
“The agency that had only two functional offices when she was appointed witnessed a tremendous growth both in offices across the length and breadth of Nigeria and personnel from 80 employees to about 7000 by the time she exited from the board.
“Dr. Olejeme got to know about this when she was declared wanted by EFCC for alleged diversion of several billions of Naira by her and the management.
“What compounded Dr Olejeme’s issues was that while she was recuperating from the surgeries carried out on her abroad, she was declared wanted by EFCC and she was unable to return to address some of the unfounded lies and allegations against her as a result of her doctors’ advice.
“She made her lawyers to write severally to EFCC to exercise patience as her ill health has made it practically impossible to return immediately to answer to the allegations. Pictures of her complicated medical ordeal and doctors’ reports were also sent to the Agency.
“When EFCC could not bulge and continued to insist on her return, she told her doctors that she will defy their expert advice and return back to address these issues, as lies undefended do normally assume some modicum of truth, and so on the 17th of December, 2017 she flew into the country and in the company of her lawyers turned herself in to EFCC on the 18th of December, 2017.
Imoko further noted that Dr. Olejeme has been responding to these allegations and interrogations, addressing the conspiracy and lies by some of the witnesses and accused persons in the case.
“It must be pointed out that the EFCC has been very professional in the handling of the case so far.
“They have confronted her with some of their star witnesses whose statements appear contradictory in every material particular”
Imoko however lamented the continued detention of Dr. Olejeme by the EFCC even after she met her bail conditions.
“The agency has given her administrative bail conditions which she has promptly fulfilled but they are yet to let her go but currently detained in hospital as a result of her complicated medical conditions confirmed by both doctors abroad and at home.
“She is there under the watch of heavy security guards that makes her recovery from ailment nearly impossible due to her constant anxiety
“Her lawyers are however puzzled as to why Dr Olejeme is not granted bail (allowed to go home) after she has fulfilled the said conditions, and therefore, are strategising on the next possible action to take to secure her bail as the offence she is accused of is a bailable one.”
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