Indication has emerged yesterday how a former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, used the pension fund to buy Brifina Hotel in Durumi, Abuja for N359.25million. Shuaibu and other officials of the Pension Office are currently standing trial over alleged diversion of N4.5bn pension fund.
In a proof of evidence filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and exclusively obtained by LEADERHSHIP last night showed that N359. 26 million paid to own the Brifina Hotel was solely from the pension money.
The proof of evidence reads in part ‘Although the total sum of N399 million was said to be the value of Brifina Hotel and the amount for which it was sold to Dr. Shuaibu, investigation has so far traced the total sum of N359.25 million as payments made to Chief Anthony Ezeweputa from Shuaibu through Mohammed Muhamud in regards to the purchase of Brifina Hotel’.
The EFCC had on March 26, 2012 announced the seizure of six properties including the Brifina hotel belonging to Shuaibu who is being prosecuted 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 in Abuja on July 11, 2011.
The court had 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 property 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 Chairman of EFCC is hereby permitted to seize and retain custody of all such property 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 number FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.
The court also granted an order permitting the Chairman of EFCC to seize and retain custody of all the property 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 No. FHC/ABJ/CR/28/2011.
Shuaibu, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi and 30 other suspects are facing trial on a 134-count charge of alleged diversion of pension funds.