BY LAWRENCE ETIM.
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of seven persons accused of complicity in the over N20bn police pension fraud, Mustapha Gadanya, has narrated to Justice Hussein Baba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court how 400 cheques were cashed in a day by the accused persons.
Led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Gadanya told the court on Tuesday in Abuja that he obtained and analyzed the certified true copy of instruments used in making withdrawals in the name of Veronica Onyegbula and the Directors of Police Pension office, Esai Dangaba, Atiku Abubakar and Inuwa Wada.
A statement by the head, Public Relations unit, EFCC, Wilson Uwajaren, explained that Gadanya told the court that the directors carried out the cheque transactions without any letter of exemption from compliance with the e-payment circular from the office of the Accountant General. “Over 400 cheques were withdrawn and we got this information from the bank statement furnished us by First Bank Plc. “We discovered that the three directors are all signatories to the fraudulent cheques. We also discovered that Mrs. Uzoma Attang, John Yusuf, Gabriel Ikpe, Mike Okoro and one Mrs Amu (currently at large), are among those who signed the cheques,” Gadanya said.
Justice Baba who was apparently shocked by the revelation, sought to know from the witness what currency was involved to which the witness responded, “Naira my Lord”. Gadanya then went on to state that between January 31, 2011 and May 6, 2011, over N1bn was withdrawn and that the sum of N650m was withdrawn on January 31, 2011.