Former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Force Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, allegedly looted N14 billion worth of pension funds in connivance with a former Head of Service, HoS, a prosecution witness has said.
The prosecution witness, Rouqquaya Ibrahim, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that Maina and Stephen Oronsaye, who was HoS between 2009 and 2010, allegedly stole the funds through more than 60 bank accounts.
Main is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, had ordered the commencement of trial in absentia following his prolonged absence from court since he was released on bail.
At the trial on Wednesday, Ibrahim, the ninth prosecution witness, who is also an EFCC investigator, told the court that the investigation team found that “Abdulrasheed Maina was deeply involved in stealing pension funds.”
According to the witness, investigations revealed how Maina paid pension funds into the private accounts set up by Oronsaye.
She further told the court that the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, had confirmed that there was no approval for the opening of the accounts, which were in the former HOS’s office’s name.
She said, “Part of what our investigation revealed was that the HoS, Mr Stephen Oronsaye, at that time was operating 66 illegal accounts.
“They were stealing money from the pension accounts of the Head of Service of the federation. In total, we were able to establish that N14 billion was stolen from the pension accounts.
“Pension funds would be paid into those accounts, after which they would withdraw cash and hand over to the persons who asked them to give the account numbers.”