Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today arrested ten persons accused of defrauding the Oyo State Government of N1.59 billion Pension funds at the premises of the Magistrates Court, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
The accused were Alhaji Hakeem Muili, Alhaja Iyabo Giwa, Adeduntan Johnson, Oguntayo Banji and Adesina Jimoh. Others are Johson Bosede, Adebiyi Olasumbo, Kareem Rasheed, Muili Adedamola and Salewa Adedeji.
The 10 officials of the pension board were arraigned on Feb. 25 for alleged fraud of N1.59 billion. and preferred on a three-count charge of conspiracy, abuse of office and stealing.
The prosecution had told the court that Muili and Giwa abused the authority of their office.
Giwa was the former Executive Secretary of the Pension Board.
The duo of Muili and Giwa were said to have conspired with others and issued cheques and signed in the names of the staff of the pension board to collect pensioner’s money from different banks.
The prosecution said that the incident happened between September 2010 and January 2011 at Agodi Secretariat.
However, the state government had approached the court to withdraw the charges against the accused to allow the EFCC conduct proper investigation into the matter.
Chief Magistrate Durosaro Kehinde-Tijani then struck out the case, based on the application made by the Principal State Counsel, Ademola Ojekunle on June 4.
She cited section 75 and 211(1) of the1999 constitution earlier cited by Ojemola, empowering the Attorney General to withdraw the matter.
The defendants were arrested by the EFCC immediately they step out of the court premises and were conveyed in the commission’s bus to Lagos immediately.
One of the accused, Alhaja Iyabo Giwa, however escaped arrest even though she was present at the court premises.
Mr Adebayo Ojo, the Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice affirmed that the EFCC had taken over the matter.
Ojo said that the defendants would be charged to court if found culpable in a fresh investigation to be conducted by the EFCC.