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Published On: Tue, Jun 24th, 2014

ICPC nabs 42-year old ‘pure water’ seller who became pensioner

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Crime_03By Umar Muhammad Puma

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has dragged one Mr. Abiodun Osagie, his wife Mrs. Regina Osagie and Mr. Oladimeji Bello before an FCT Abuja High Court for allegedly diverting pension funds into private accounts using various banks and fake identities, in violation of the provisions of the ICPC Act 2000.

In a statement by the Resident Consultant Media and Events, Folu Olamiti, said  Mr. Abiodun Osagie, who is currently with the Police Service Commission, while his wife Mrs. Regina is now with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and Mr. Oladimeji Bello a staff with the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF), was part of the Pensions Management Committee set up after the dissolution of the Maina-led Pensions Reform Task Team (PRTT) and allegedly abused his office by re-inserting the ghost names into the pension list.

Similarly, the commission had also arraigned Mr. Abiodun Osagie’s sister-in-law, Mrs. Philomena Ayodele, a 42 year old housewife and a pure-water seller, who has been enjoying pension for six years without having served for one day in the Federal Civil Service.

Mrs. Ayodele was arrested on  July 19, 2013, at Keystone Bank, Mararaba Branch while trying to withdraw her monthly ‘pension’.

In her statement, she was alleged to have  confessed that it was Mr. Abiodun Osagie who approached her and requested for her bank account details in order to enable them pay monthly pensions into her account. She alleged that she had been collecting the pension money from her account and the proceeds were  usually shared by them.

The arraignment of the suspects marks the end of a nine-month undercover investigation by ICPC of corrupt practices in the Pensions Department of the OHSF.

“In the course of the investigation, the ICPC team visited the residence of Mr. Osagie and a list containing several names and account numbers in banks was retrieved. These accounts were opened with fictitious names and had as beneficiaries Mr. Osagie’s wife Mrs. Regina Osagie, his sister-in-law Mrs. Ayodele and other relatives.

The ICPC detectives also discovered that all these accounts had pensions funds credited into them on a monthly basis since 2008 until their arrests in 2013.

According to him, the payments were done in such a way as not to attract attention, but that the Special Squad, set up in the Financial Investigations Unit, under the direct supervision of ICPC chairman, was able to piece the puzzle into a meaningful pattern that exposed the perpetrators through deductive investigations.

Before pensions management was moved to the Pensions Transitions Administration Department  (PETAD), a review of the pension processes in the OHSF ordered by ICPC had started yielding very positive results following the full support of the immediate past and current Heads of Service.

The court is yet to set a date for hearing.

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