EFCC Arrests Ngozi Olejeme over N69bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, the Deputy Chairman, Finance Committee of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in the 2015 presidential election.
Olejeme, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund from 2009 to 2015, was in June declared wanted for allegedly diverting N69bn from the agency.
The suspect, who is also the widow to Felix Obuah, the late Chief Security Officer to Jonathan, had fled from the country shortly after her sacking by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 but finally reported at the EFCC on Monday after which she was detained, Punch writes.
A detective at the commission stated, “After months of running, Mrs. Olejeme finally turned herself in. She is currently being detained and we have identified most of her properties.”
The EFCC alleges that Olejeme and some directors in the NSITF diverted billions of naira, including funds meant for the payment of allowances of its staff as well as compensation for contributors.
After receiving a petition alleging that over N50bn from the Employee Compensation Scheme fund was mismanaged, the EFCC immediately set up a team of detectives to look into the allegations.
The commission looked into the bank accounts of the NSITF and allegedly discovered suspicious transactions and diversion of funds, some of which were traced to the accounts of some consultants and contractors who were alleged to be mainly fronts for Olejeme and other directors in the NSITF.
An EFCC report read in part, “It was discovered that the NSITF accounts in First Bank of Nigeria and other banks have witnessed a total turnover of over N62,358,401,927 between 2012 and 2015 from the Employee Compensation Scheme contributions.
“That out of the N62bn, the Federal Government contributed N13,600,000,000 while the sum of N48,758,401,927.80 was contributed by the private sector. That there were several payments to individuals and companies from the NSITF bank accounts for purported contracts or consultancy services.
“That some individuals and companies that received these payments in turn transferred parts of the funds directly to the NSITF officials while others transferred huge sums to bureau de change operators who changed them to dollars.”
The report adds that “Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, the then NSITF board chairman, has collected a total sum of $48,485,127 from Mr. Chuka Eze (her account officer at FBN) which cash he collected on her behalf being the dollar equivalent of money paid to BDCs by NSITF contractors.”
The EFCC had, on November 23, 2017, arraigned some of Olejeme’s accomplices, including Umar Abubakar, Henry Sambo, Adebayo Aderibigbe, Chief Richard Uche and Aderemi Adegboyega, before Justice Silvanus Orji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, on 26 counts bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and illegal diversion of public funds.
They all pleaded not guilty to the offences and were granted bail. The matter was adjourned till February 5, 2018 for commencement of trial.
ENJOY FREE CONTENTS FROM US
IN YOUR EMAIL
Breaking News, Events, Music & More
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.