Lagos - The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High
Court has rejected a plea bargain proposal mooted by suspects accused of complicity in stealing pension funds.
Justice Abubakar Talba has spurned such a proposal by Ibrahim Ahmed Mazangari, Muhammed Sani Suleiman, Hajiya Fatima Mazangari, Saleh Yerima Tsojon and Xangee Technologies Limited whom the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission wants prosecuted on a 29-count charge bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.
Earlier on Tuesday, the arraignment could not proceed owing to the absence of Fatimah Mazangari, whose counsel, Ibrahim Salau claimed, was ill.
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He consequently pleaded for a short adjournment to allow his client recover and be present in court to take her plea.
However, before the court adjourned proceedings to September 15, Salau informed the court that his clients had opened plea bargain discussion with the prosecution.
Justice Talba forbade him from raising the subject.
"Don't mention plea bargain here. I don't want to hear about it," the judge declared.
The accused persons, who were offered a biometric contract by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye, to regularize names of pensioners on the pensions' payroll, allegedly smuggled in names of fake pensioners, and collected unearned pension.
They are alleged to have defrauded the Federal government of more than 1,2 billion.
- CAJ News