Posted by News Express | 26 February 2013 | 5,392 times
A new twist has been introduced into the Police Pension Fund scam, with one of the accused, Mrs. Uzoma Attang, accusing the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) of collaborating with her husband’s aggrieved business partner to rope her into a deal she knows nothing about.
Mrs. Attang, a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance Abuja, was not originally among those arraigned in connection with the over N240 billion scam but her name was later added following series of petitions by Mr. Chukwuemeka Anagor, an estranged business associate of her husband, Mr. Cyril Attang.
Documents in the possession of News Express show that Mrs. Attang’s name was conspicuously missing from the list of the accused when the EFCC filed a 16-count charge against indicted officials of the Police Pension Office in March last year.
The Code of Conduct Bureau had initiated moves to try Mrs. Attang before the Code of Conduct Tribunal last July 3 but beat a retreat when it realised that it did not have a sustainable case against the woman. On its part, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) did not also file a case against Mrs. Attang when it didn’t find substance in Mr. Anagor’s petitions.
But the EFCC has chosen to include Mrs. Attang’s name among those to be tried in connection with the pension scam.
“This removes any iota of doubt about the partiality of the EFCC in the case,” said a source close to the Attangs who spoke with News Express. “The commission has only made itself a willing tool in the hands of a man desperate to blackmail Mrs. Attang to pressurise her husband to withdraw criminal cases instituted against him for swindling Mr. Attang, a private businessman who has never worked for the government, in a business venture. This is nothing but a calculated move to embarrass Mrs. Attang, a loyal civil servant with an unimpeachable record of service,” the source added.
A petition sent to Senate President David Mark by the Attangs’ lawyers, Chief Ladi Rotimi Williams Chambers, said: “Truly, our client, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, worked in the Police Pension Office, Lagos, as an Assistant Director and was later promoted to Deputy Director Finance & Accounts and transferred early in 2008 to the Ministry of Finance, Abuja. While at the Police Pension Office, she reported to two senior deputy directors and the Director, Police Pension, late Mr. J.T.I. Biam.”
According to Chief Ladi Rotimi Williams Chambers, “It is also known that throughout her tenure with late Mr. J. Ibiam the Police Pension Office, Lagos, was well spoken of as pensioners were paid promptly. Therefore, any attempt by the petitioner to link her to any alleged pension scam of 2010-2011 is malicious and ill-intentioned. Further, our client wants it on record that she has no knowledge or contact whatsoever with the Chairman of the Task Force Team on Pension, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, or anybody in that office whatsoever. To that respect, any issue relating to Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina or his activities as the Chairman of the Task Force Team on Pension has no relationship whatsoever with our client.”
Investigations by News Express showed that during her days at the Police Pension Office, Mrs. Attang was only one out of five signatories. There were two sets of signatories, one of which featured Mrs. Attang with Mrs. A. A. Amu and Mr. Mike Okoro while the other set had ACP Mrs. Caro Adelayo and Mr. Gabriel Ikpen.
“A person from each set had to sign for a cheque to be drawn and all cheques were in the name of the Director, the late Mr. Biam. So how come that only Mrs. Attang is being hounded while other signatories have not even been invited for questioning by the EFCC? She left the Pension Office in 2008 while the alleged scam for which indicted officials are being tried took place in 2010-2011. That is how the EFCC wastes public funds playing to the gallery while the real thieves go scot-free,” the source quoted earlier lamented to News Express.
•Photo: Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang insists she is being wrongly accused.
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