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Monday, May 23, 2022

N151b pension scam uncovered through EFCC, says task force chief

The Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force Team, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, yesterday said N151billion fraud was uncovered in the pension offices across the country through the assistance and intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  

He said houses worth about N15billion have been seized from corrupt officials in the Pension Office of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

About 71,133 fake pensioners have been detected by the team.

Maina, who spoke in Abuja when he visited the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, added that about N24billion cash was recovered.

He said: “The task force team, in conjunction with the EFCC, traced and recovered about N24billion and N15billion worth of property from some corrupt government officials in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service Pension Department. Sixty-six illegal bank accounts with N180million were also discovered.

“We are grateful to the EFCC for its assistance in this regard.”

A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the task force chairman noted that pensioners have been suffering due to paucity of funds.

He said the team, since its inauguration in June 2010, has realised that mismanagement and graft had brought misery to pensioners.

“They have been suffering due to large-scale corruption through diversion and mismanagement of pension fund, manipulation and falsification of data, non-improvement in the pension administrative structure, bureaucracy with poor, unreliable and inefficient accounting system,” the statement said.

To check such anomalies, he said his team had successfully conducted nationwide biometric verification of pensioners and detected 71,133 fake pensioners.

He sought the EFCC’s assistance in personnel and security for his team.

Maina added: “We are increasingly getting threats to our lives from some faceless members of the public.”

The task force chief urged the EFCC to watch pension offices to find out if any scam or shadiness is being perpetrated.  

Lamorde hailed  the cordial relationship between the two organisations, saying this should be emulated by other agencies.

He said: “We must all join hands to fight this cankerworm called corruption. The scam associated with pension administration was callous and avoidable. Forty-two people are standing trial over offences relating to pension scam and more people will be prosecuted as investigation continues.

“We hope the prosecution will serve as a deterrent to those who may wish to get into this callous and inhuman venture.”

Continued here:
N151b pension scam uncovered through EFCC, says task force chief

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