N4.56b ‘fraud’ trial: EFCC seizes ex-director’s houses

Ex-Pension director loses hotel, filling stations

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday seized six properties, including a hotel and four filling stations, from a former Director of Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu is standing trial over a N4.56 billion pension scam in the disbanded Pension Unit in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the properties, which were seized at the weekend, included two choice buildings and four filling stations.

He said the seizure was in line with a July 11, last year order of interim forfeiture by Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court,Abuja.

Uwujaren listed the  properties/assets which the court ordered taken over by the EFCC as follows: (a) No 24, Ahmadu Musa Crescent, Jabi, Abuja; (b) Brefina Hotel at plot 1106 (Beside MTN) warehouse, adjacent to Vines Hotel, Durumi, Abuja; (c) A house at No 1, Shuaibu Close, opposite Governor’s House, Idah; (d) Riba-Ile Petroleum Ltd; (e) M.R.S Ajaka (registered as Riba-Ile Oil Ltd; (f) M.R.S Idah station, Idah, registered with Hammo Oil, Nigeria; (g) NNPC Mega station, Idah junction, Ayingba, registered with Hammo Oil, Nig. Ltd. (h) MRS Filling Station at Ganaja, Lokoja; (i)Registered with A.Y Ted Oil Ltd; (j) A mansion at Idah, opposite Federal Polytechnic, Idah; (k) SunTrust  Properties Company Ltd; (l) Plot B59, Dawaki Extension Layout, Bwari Area Council, Abuja; (m) An Estate of about 10 bungalows, lying and being at Dantata Street, Nyanyan, FCT, Abuja.
The statement said: “The EFCC has seized six properties belonging to Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, a former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, standing trial over a N4.56 billion Pension scam.

“The interim forfeiture is sequel to an order of Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, sitting inAbujamade on July 11, 2011.

“The court granted the order restraining all persons, including persons hereinafter referred to as RECEIVERS in the Schedules hereto attached, by themselves directly or through another (whether natural or otherwise), including, but not limited to all parties listed in all the schedules hereto attached, whether or not named in Charge No FHC/ABJ/ CR28/2011, that is to say and such other persons yet to be identified, from removing, alienating, disposing of, “Dealing with or Diminishing the value of, assets or properties being suspected proceeds of crimes or otherwise, held or owned by or in the names of persons suspected of the alleged Financial crimes in Charge no. FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.

“That the Executive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is hereby permitted to seize and retain custody of all such properties or assets of persons listed in the schedules attached to this Motion, which assets are suspected proceeds of crime or the value thereof, until the final determination of Charge no. FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.

“The court also granted an order permitting the executive chairman of EFCC to seize and retain custody of all the properties or assets of persons (as listed in the attached schedules) though not yet charged but found to be connected with the transaction or allegation contained in charge.”

The statement gave further details of the assets in question.

It added: “The properties which were taken over by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the EFCC during an operation at the weekend included two choice buildings and four filling stations.

“One of the buildings located at No.1 Shuaibu Close, G.R.A. Idah,KogiStateis an imposing eight-bedroom twin duplex, a 5-unit two-bedroom apartment, two-room security house and a mosque all scattered in the expansive compound.

“The property at thePolytechnic Road, directly opposite Federal Polytechnic, Okenya, Idah,KogiStateis an unpainted one story duplex with multiple sitting rooms and apartment built within.

“The third property that was seized was a non-functional filling station, located 100 meters away from Ajaka Police Station. It has a small office building with four rusted and non-functional fuel pumps and a Leister generator in a small generator house.

“At Agbeji in Ayingba,KogiState, a thriving MRS filling station located at Agbeji alongAyingba Road, a few meters from Confluence Fertilizer Company Limited was also seized from Shuaibu.

“An NNPC Mega Station alongLokoja-Enugu Highway, Ayingba and a Texaco filling station with a shopping mall alongGanaja Road, opposite Ibra Petroleum and Petrochemical Limited, Lokoja,KogiStatewas among the properties seized from Dr. Shuaibu.”

Shuaibu, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi and 30 other suspects are facing trial on a 134-count charge bordering on diversion of pension funds, abuse of office, using ghost pensioners to pay N2 million and N3 million into their accounts monthly and diversion of the same amount through award of fictitious contracts to companies which they manage.  Ukamaka Chidi is a former Deputy Director (Finance and Accounts) in the Pension Office. Aliyu Bello was a Personal Assistant to Dr. Shuaibu.

Other accused persons are: Garba Abdullahi Tahir, Emmanuel Olanipekun, Abdullahi Omeiza,ComputerPlazaand Essential Gadget Ventures.

Also accused are Mobis Point Investment Ltd, Obista Enterprises, Shallow Well Ventures, Mof Investment Ltd., Zumba Resources, Pam Investment and Properties Ltd., Moshfad Enterprises, Newgate Projects Ltd, RedWings Energy Ltd, RedWings Procurement Services Ltd and Woodland Industries NIG Ltd.

There are also Nwab Tessy O Enterprises Nigeria, Chris J. Junior Ventures, Uthaka Nigeria Ltd, Bashinta Nigeria Ltd, Haleath Enterprises, Gozinda Enterprises, Omozua Ventures, S.S Badejo Enterprises, Lopee Ventures, Fafama Oil and Gas Ltd, Fafama Estate Developer Ltd and Riba-Ile Petroleum.

Count one of the 134 count charge reads: “That you Dr. Shaiubu Sani Teidi, Phina Ukamaka Chidi Computer Plaza, Essential gadget Ventures, Mobis Point Investment Ltd, Obista Enterprises, Shallow Well Ventures at various times, between 2008 and 2010 within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, conspired among yourself to induce the Pension Department, office of the Head of Service of the federation of Nigeria, to deliver to you, various sums in the aggregate N176, 910, 650 (One hundred and seventy six million, nine hundred and ten thousand, six hundred and Fifty naira) property vide the medium of a contract induced by false pretences, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related  Offences Act, 2006”.
By Yusuf Alli, Abuja