Military officers, bankers charged with stealing N339m from Military Pension Board

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Two military personnel, Wing Commander Ishaka Yakubu and Lt.-Commander Akinbamidele Odunsi and two bankers Mrs. Violet Ogoegbunam and Mrs. Abidemi Aderemi Kolade are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing N339 million from the Military Pension Board (MPB) in 2016.

Wing Commander Yakubu is said to be a cashier with the MPB while Lt.-Commander Odunsi is an assistant director, computer, with the MPB.

Ogoegbunam is the manager of a bank on Kuforodua Street, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja while is a relationship manager at the unnamed bank.

The accused were said to have diverted N339, 374,478.58 from the MPB, under the pretext that the money represented payments to some “supposed next of kins to dead military pensioners as death benefits”.

The information formed the substance of a four-count charge filed on behalf of the Federal Government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The charge, filed on May 31, 2017, was endorsed by Steve Odiase of the legal and prosecution department of the EFCC in Abuja.

The two bankers are named in counts 1 and 2, relating to conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence in respect of the alleged N339, 374,478.58 fraud.

Yakubu and Odunsi are named in the four counts, and charged with obtaining by false pretence, and abuse of office in respect of N190 million which they allegedly received from the N390m.

EFCC said the offence of obtaining money under false pretence contrary to section 1(i) (a) and punishable under section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006, while the offence of conspiracy to obtain money under false pretence is contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

It added that the offence of abuse of office by obtaining money by false pretences in count 4 is contrary to Section 19 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under the same section.

As of the time of handing in this report the case was yet to be assigned for hearing.

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