The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has revealed how two army officers allegedly conspired with two employees of a popular commercial bank to divert the sum of N339m from the account of the Military Pensions Board, MPB.
The two military officers accused in all the four counts filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja are a cashier with the MPB, Wing Commander Ishaka Yakubu; and an Assistant Director, Computer, with the MPB, Lieutenant Commander Akinbamidele Odunsi.
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According to Magu in a letter dated May 23, 2017 and addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff, the suspects, who were later charged with fraud offences on May 31, 2017, allegedly opened 33 accounts with the said bank into which the Military Pensions Board’s funds were diverted.
He stated, “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.
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The acting anti-graft boss noted in his letter with reference number EFCC/EC/CDS/66/16 that the total sum of N339,374,478.58 was withdrawn from the MPB account across the counter or transferred to other accounts in the bank.
“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 stated that the bankers and their spouses were also among the beneficiaries of the alleged fraud.
He further noted that all the 33 accounts into which the money was diverted had been frozen.
He said out of the stolen N339m, the sum of N314m had been recovered and kept in the EFCC Recovery Account.
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