Former accountant bags 21 years imprisonment for st£@ling N26.1 million meant for pensioners

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, convicted and sentenced a former Accountant in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Garba Abdullahi Tahir, to 21 years in prison for st£@ling pension funds totalling about N26.1 million.

Tahir was the pension accountant when Mr Stephen Oronsaye was the HoS between 2009 and 2010. Trial Justice Inyang Ekwo found the defendant who was formerly in charge of pension accounts, guilty of a seven-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him. The court said it was satisfied that the anti-graft agency proved its case against the defendant, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Consequently, it sentenced the defendant to three years imprisonment on each of the seven counts. Justice Ekwo held that the sentence would run concurrently, starting from April 3.

According to the EFCC, the case against the convict was part of billion naira pension fraud it discovered in the Office of the Head of Service of Federation, for which a number of civil servants were investigated over ten years ago and charged to court.

Specifically, some of the counts in the charge against the defendant, read: “That you, Garba Abdullahi Tahir (also known as Tahir Garba) on or about the 18th of January, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N3,000,000.00 into cash by Ecobank cheque no. 92 drawn in favour of one Sani Abdullahi through your bank account with Ecobank Plc which sum represented part of the proceeds of crime of criminal breach of trust committed by you in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act”.



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