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Pension scam: Court adjourns Yusuf's application

22 April 2013, 16:40

Abuja - The application of  John Yusuf, a former Director, Police Pension Board, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to try him will be heard by the Federal High Court on May 16

Yusuf is standing trial for failing to disclose all his assets to the Federal Government.

Justice Adamu Bello, who made this known on Monday, said that because Yusuf was challenging the court’s jurisdiction the right thing to do was to hear the motion before proceeding with the trial.

``The matter is then adjourned to May 16 while the prosecuting counsel is given seven days to respond to the motion,’’ he said.

Chief Rotimi Jacob (SAN), Counsel to EFCC, announced that he was served with the motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction on a date set for prosecution witnesses to testify.

He argued that the action was ``an ambush’’ by Yusuf, saying: ``the intention of the application is to delay the case.

``The application is totally misconceived and billed to frustrate the applicant's trial,’’ he said.

However, F.C Ibikpe, Counsel to Yusuf,  described the trial of his client as a ``double jeopardy’’.

According to him, the current case is indirectly connected to the pension fraud allegation for which he was convicted earlier.

Ibikpe explained that the applicant reserved the rights to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to handle the case.

He said the trial of non-declaration of assets was the preserve of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC arraigned Yusuf on Jan. 30.

NAN recalls that Yusuf was on Jan. 28 convicted for his involvement in the alleged embezzlement of N24 billion police pension funds.

Yusuf was jailed two years or in the alternative pay a fine of N750 000. In addition, he was ordered to forfeiture N325 million in cash and 32 landed property to the government.

The EFCC had charged Yusuf and four other officials of the board with diverting N32.8 billion pension funds.

In the current case, the EFCC alleged that Yusuf, on Feb. 12, 2012, failed to make full disclosure of his assets and liabilities in the Declaration of Assets Form.

The anti-graft body said the accused person committed an offence punishable under Section 27(3) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

The accused, if convicted, he would serve two years in prison.



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