N293m payroll fraud lands civil servants in prison - 9ja Olofofo

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

N293m payroll fraud lands civil servants in prison



An accused owns 200 accounts in different banks

An Abuja High Court yesterday remanded nine alleged payroll fraudsters in prison pending when their trial would commence.
The accused persons were arraigned on a 16-count charge of conspiracy and stealing to the tune of N293 million.
The females among them were remanded in Suleja Prison, while the males were remanded in Kuje Prison.
The accused persons are Usman Dayo, Osuntope Opeyemi, Johnson Adedokun, Ojeido Sylvanus, Oyebode Ayodeji, Florence Dada, Olaolu Dada, Blessing Ejeh and Aderibigbe Taiwo.
The prosecution had submitted that one of the suspects was found to own and operate about 200 personal accounts with different banks in Abuja.
Another was alleged to have used the particulars of his family members to operate several accounts in various banks. Another suspect was said to own more than 50 houses in various locations in Abuja and its environs.
Three of the suspects had applied through their lawyers to forfeit some property and cash in lieu of their conviction for the crimes.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC yesterday arraigned the suspects for allegedly being responsible for several ghost workers on the payroll of the Federal Government.
The suspects were said to be civil servants from government agencies like the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources; Environment Ministry and the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC.
In the charge, the suspects were alleged to have created and inserted fictitious names on the payroll of the Federal Government for salaries and allowances without official consent, thereby causing the loss of several millions of naira.
The offence is said to be in contravention of Section 289 of the Criminal Act. When the charge was read to them, they all pleaded not guilty.
Prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Mohammed, however, prayed the court to remand the suspects in prison custody pending the commencement of their trial.
The trial judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke, granted the prayer of the prosecution and consequently adjourned till November 8, to hear applications by counsel to three of the suspects for plea bargaining.

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