Enugu adhoc staff bags 6 years for N13m pension fraud

Enugu State High Court, presided over by Justice K.I. Okpe has  sentenced a pension fraudster, Akpudili Anayo, to six years in prison for a N13 million fraud.

The Enugu Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Anayo, an adhoc staff engaged by the Enugu state government for a verification exercise in 2017, with forgery, impersonation, conspiracy and stealing.

A press statement by the commission’s acting spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, Tuesday in Abuja, said Anayo’s journey to prison started when the Enugu state government petitioned the EFCC alleging fraudulent transactions being traced to him.

He said the state executive had on May 3, 2017, directed that the May, June, and July 2017 pension/salaries of the state pensioners and three other agencies of the state government be paid by cheques after physical verification.

However, at the end of the verification exercise, it was revealed that the convict who was an Ad-hoc staff for the verification exercise, in charge of the system computing the names of the verified civil servants in the state, conspired and used the bank accounts of three fake pensioners: Ngene Patrick Somtochukwu, Ani Ifeyinwa, and Patience Christian Chimezie, domiciled in Fidelity, Stanbic IBTC Bank and First Bank, respectively, to divert funds meant for the pension and salaries of the civil servants in the 17 local government areas of Enugu state.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Akpudili Christian Anayo sometime in June 2017, at Enugu State within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Enugu State stole the sum of N5,034,435 (Five Million Thirty Four Thousand, Four Hundred And Thirty Five Naira) only, through Christian Chimezie Patience, Fidelity Bank account, property of the Enugu State government pension Board and you thereby committed an offence stealing contrary to Section 342 of the Criminal Code Law of the Enugu State, Cap. 30, Revised Laws of Enugu State, 2004 and punishable under Section 353 of the same Law.”

According to the spokesperson, the convict had on April 8, 2019, pleaded “guilty” to the six counts preferred against him when he was arraigned, and he was subsequently convicted, accordingly.

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