Alleged fraud: Supreme Court fixes ex-pension DG’s appeal for April 22

The appeal filed by a former Federal Director of Pension, Mr John Yusuf, challenging his six years imprisonment by the Court of Appeal has been fixed for final judgment come April 22.

Blueprint recalls that Court of Appeal, Abuja division gave a verdict that he should refund to the federal government coffer the sum of N22.9Bn he admitted to have diverted for personal use.

Yusuf who was twice convicted by the court has since contested the verdict.

Justice Mohammed Musa Dattijo who led a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court on Thursday fixed the date after taking arguments from parties in the matter.

While Oluwaleke Atolagbe is the prosecution in the matter, Theodore Maiyaki, stood for the jailed Director of Pension.

At the resumed sitting, the appellant, John Yakubu, prayed the Supreme Court to set aside a judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which sentenced him to six cumulative years of imprisonment and also ordered him to refund N22.9bn to the federal government.

The former Director of Pension had at a high court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT in a plea bargain arrangements admitted diverting to personal use, N22.9Bn being pension fund entrusted to him by the federal government.

His admission of guilt at the high court followed 3-count criminal charges bothering on breach of trust, diversion of N32.8Bn pension fund among others, brought against him by the federal government.

He was on January 28, 2013 subsequently jailed two years by Justice Abubakar Talba but granted an option of N750,000 fine in lieu of the imprisonment.

However, upon an appeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, the Court of Appeal on March 21, 2018 reversed the high court judgment and nullified it.

The Appeal Court stressed that the sentence of the high court did not serve as deterrence to both the convict and others.

Subsequently, the Court of Appeal imposed a jail term of six years on him and also ordered him to return N22.9Bn to the federal government as the complainant.

But in his appeal at the Supreme Court, Yusuf who is currently serving six years jail term at Kuje prison described the Court of Appeal verdict as too harsh, asking it to be void so as not to suffer double jeopardy.