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Two soldiers, 2 bankers connived, diverted N339m military pension with 33 accounts –Magu

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Two soldiers, 2 bankers connived, diverted N339m military pension with 33 accounts –Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has alleged that two army officers and two employees of the United Bank for Africa Plc, plotted and diverted the sum of N339m from the account of the Military Pensions Board.

This was contained in a leaked letter said to have been written by the EFCC boss on May 23, 2017 and addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff.

According to the letter, the suspects, who have been charged to court with fraud offences on May 31, 2017, were said to have opened 33 accounts with UBA through which they diverted the MPB’s funds.

In the letter, with reference number EFCC/EC/CDS/66/16, Magu stated that the total sum of N339,374,478.58 was withdrawn from the MPB account across the counter or transferred to other accounts in the bank.

The military officers who are currently facing four counts charge bordering on fraud at the FCT High Court, Abuja are a cashier with the MPB, Wing Commander Ishaka Yakubu; and an Assistant Director, Computer, with the MPB, Lieutenant Commander Akinbamidele Odunsi.

Also, the two bankers who are defendants in two out of the four counts are a Relationship Manager with UBA, Kuforodua (Wuse Zone 2) branch, Abuja, Mrs Abidemi Kolade, and the Manager of the branch, Mrs Violet Ogoegbunam.

While updating the Chief of Defence Staff on the progress the anti-graft agency is making in probing the case before filing of the charges, Magu accused the bankers of compromising the ‘Know Your Customer’ requirements in collusion with military officers in the opening of the 33 accounts used in diverting the MPB’s funds.

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“Investigation discovered that fraudulent accounts were opened by the Business Manager, Mrs. Violet Ofoegbunam, and relationship manager, Mrs Kolade Aderemi Abidemi, thereby compromising the ‘Know Your Customer’ requirements with the connivance of the two military officers.

“Thirty-three accounts were identified to have fraudulently received payments to the tune of N339,374,478.58 from Military Pensions Board between April and June 2016,” Magu said.
The EFCC boss further noted that the bankers along with their spouses were among the beneficiaries of the alleged fraud.

According to Magu, all the 33 accounts had been frozen.
He added that out of the stolen N339 million, the sum of N314m had been recovered and kept in the EFCC Recovery Account, noting that moves to recover the balance of N25 million is ongoing.

 

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