Journalism in the service of society

Head of service pensions accountant bags 21 years in Prison for money laundering

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, today, convicted and sentenced a former accountant, Pensions Account, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Garba Abdullahi Tahir, to 21 years imprisonment for stealing N26.1 million meant for pensioners.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had prosecuted Abdullahi on a seven-count amended charge that bordered on money laundering.

EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, noted that count four of the charge reads, “That you, Garba Abdullahi Tahir (also known as Tahir Garba) on or about the 18th of January, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N3,000,000.00 (Three Million Naira) into cash by Ecobank cheque no. 92 drawn in favour of one Sani Abdullahi through your bank account with Ecobank Plc which sum represented part of the proceeds of crime of criminal breach of trust committed by you in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.”

It added that count six reads, “That you Garba Abdullahi Tahir (also known as Tahir Garba on or about the 12th April, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N7,800,000.00 (Seven Million and Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) into a bank draft or Manager’s Cheque in favour of CHARO Bureau de Change Ltd through your bank account with Ecobank Plc, which sum represented part of the proceeds of crime of criminal breach of trust committed by you in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and punishable under section 14(1) of the same Act.”

Count seven reportedly reads, “That you, Garba Abdullahi Tahir (Also known as Tahir Garba) on or about the 17 of May, 2010 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court converted the sum of N7,500,000.00 (Seven Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira) into a bank draft or Manager’s Cheque in favour of CHARO Bureau de Change Ltd through your bank account with Ecobank Plc which sum represented part of the proceeds of crime of criminal breach of trust committed by you in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation with the aim of concealing its illicit origin and you thereby committed an offence.”

Abdullahi was said to have pleaded not guilty to the charges upon arraignment. The case went into trial with the prosecution calling several witnesses and tendering documents in evidence.

Delivering judgement, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the prosecution had proved the case against the defendant and convicted him on all seven charges, according to the EFCC.

“The judge sentenced the defendant to three years imprisonment on each of the seven counts. The sentences are however to run concurrently, from April 3, 2023,” Uwujaren said.

“The case is a part of the billion naira pension fraud in the Office of the Head of Service of Federation, for which a number of civil servants were investigated over ten years ago, and charged to court by the EFCC.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times