Ex-President Jonathan’s Aide, Ngozi Olejeme Remanded in EFCC Custody Over Alleged N69bn Fraud

Ex-President Jonathan’s Aide, Ngozi Olejeme Remanded in EFCC Custody Over Alleged N69bn Fraud

  • A former Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Ngozi Olejeme, has been arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi
  • Olejeme, was issued a nine-count charge by Justice Maryam Aliyu bothering on fraud, money laundering that amounted to N69 billion
  • Meanwhile, Olejeme’s lawyer, Erokoro pleaded with the court to grant her bail considering her health condition

Jabi, Abuja- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Thursday, October 21, arraigned former chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi.

Vanguard reports that the court issued the order after a nine-count charge bothering on diversion of public funds, money laundering to the tune of N69 billion was read to the hearing of the court.

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Count three of the charge reads:

“That you Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Olejeme being the former Board Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)."
Court remands Ngozi Olejeme in EFCC custody over alleged N69bn fraud
According to reports, the ex-President Jonathan’s aide, Ngozi Olejeme pleaded not guilty when the charges were read. Photo credit: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Source: Facebook

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Olejeme, along with former Managing Director of NSITF, Umar Abubakar, reportedly diverted over N69 billion belonging to the fund. The amount was reportedly found in accounts linked to them after the award of spurious contracts to proxy companies, a report by The Guardian also indicate.

Trouble started for Olojeme shortly after her sack by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

The EFCC received a petition alleging that over N50 billion from the Employee Compensation Scheme, paid by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as private companies, and another N18 billion being contributions of the Federal Government as take-off grants to the NSITF, were diverted into the personal accounts of the suspects.

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She pleaded not guilty when the charges were read.

Olejeme’s counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN), explained the application for bail, saying that the applicant should be granted bail on medical grounds, the prosecuting lawyer, Steve Odiase, did not oppose but insisted that she must be granted conditional bail, requiring that she presents a surety.

Erokoro said:

“The applicant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years, she has had four major surgeries in the United States of America and South Africa.
“Four months ago, the applicant suffered a heart failure and last month she caught Covid-19 and she is still in the recovery process.
“She will have follow-up surgery, one of which is scheduled to hold next month in South Africa.”

Erokoro dismissed allegations that the applicant breached her administrative bail and escaped from the country.

The judge adjourned till Friday, October 22, for the ruling and ordered that the defendant be kept in the custody of the EFCC.

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Disclose owner of ‘missing money’, Governor Bello challenges EFCC

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, on Sunday, October 17, challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to disclose the owner of the missing N20 billion previously linked to him and the state government by the commission.

The governor had been accused of the EFCC of covering over N20 billion belonging to the Kogi state government in a secret account.

Following its allegation, the EFCC froze the accounts of the Kogi state government under the present administration of Governor Yahaya Bello, on the order of a Lagos state High Court in August 2021.

EFCC withdraws N19.3bn bailout fund case against state govt, gives reasons

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday, October 15, granted a motion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking to withdraw a suit against the Kogi state government.

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The anti-graft agency had filed the suit, seeking an interim order to freeze the sum of the N19.3 billion bailout fund in the account of the Kogi state government, PM News reported.

The EFCC had alleged that the money meant for the payment of salaries of the state workers was domiciled in an interest-yielding account with a new generation bank.

Source: Legit.ng

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