The last has not been heard in the Police Pension Office scam as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been petitioned over the alleged bribe-for-protection by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Pension and Establishment, Senator Aloysius Etuk.
Investigation revealed that the commission’s chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Larmode, has received a four-page petition from the former Director of Accounts and Finance (Pension) in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF), Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, who is in prison.
The petition was signed on his behalf by his lawyer and personal assistant, Barrister T.E.O. Okocha and Dr. R. Afuzie respectively.
Shuaibu is standing trial on charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, conspiracy to commit fraud and concealing the illicit origin of stolen pensions fund, totaling over N18.3 billion and is being remanded in Kuje Prison in Abuja, pending when he would meet his N500 million bail bond.
In the petition, Afuzie and Okocha alleged that Etuk demanded for a princely sum of $1 billion in order to a “offer soft landing” for Shuaibu.
“In all, the Senate committee chairman had taken bribes in the region of N400 million in cash and equipment from the former director,” they also alleged.
They further claimed that an initial N50 million cash and another $200,000 was received by Etuk, even as he also took delivery of cars, landed property and industrial equipment in order to scuttle the probe by the National Assembly and make the indicted director walk free.
The petitioners said as witnesses to the many meetings between Etuk and Shauibu, they were in a position to provide facts to the EFCC in “pursuit of your national assignment.”
According to the petition, the senator had persuaded the embattled former director to attend its public hearing on the administration of pension offices across the country with a promise to use him as a prosecution witness in nailing pension thieves.
The petition also alleged that Etuk had “requested and got two brand new Mercedes Benz cars – a 2010 model Mercedes Benz coupe,” even as he also received a D8 caterpillar, a petroleum tanker with 33 litres capacity and an additional $200,000 for his “oversight” functions.
The petition is titled: “Corrupt Enrichment and Acceptance of N50,000,000 (Fifty Million Naira) Bribery, Cars, Landed Property and Industrial Equipment: Re: Senator Aloysius Akpan Etuk – Chairman, Senate Committee on Pension and Establishment,” and dated September 30, 2013.
Findings revealed that the petition may have been informed by Etuk’s inability to deliver on his promise to keep Shauibu out of prison after Justice Adamu Bello slammed a N500 million bail bond on the accused.
Efforts to reach Etuk proved abortive as he could not be reached as at the time of going to press.
Shuaibu, Omoefe Uduesegbe and nine companies are being tried on a 22-count charge bordering on conspiracy and allegedly defrauding the pension funds.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola, in a ruling last July, granted them bail at N500 million each, with two sureties, who must possess landed property in Abuja worth the bail amount.
The judge held that having regard to the nature of the charge, the sureties must be reliable, resident in Abuja, present the title deeds of their property for the court’s verification and must depose to affidavit of means.
Justice Ademola also ordered the accused to submit their international passports to the court, and where such passports had been released to the EFCC, they should be retrieved and deposited with the court.
The judge ordered that on no account should the accused persons travel abroad without the permission of the court.
He adjourned to October 23 for the commencement of trial.
A count in the charge reads: “That you, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, former Director, Pension Accounts, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria, Udusegbe Erik Omoefe, Gozinga Enterprises, Uthathak Nigeria Limited, Krasiva Nigeria Limited and Riba-lle Petroleum Limited at various times in 2009, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired together to obtain by false pretence and with intent to defraud from Pensions Account Office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria various sums in the aggregate amount of N1, 951, 592, 000.00 and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.”