Pension fraud: Reps summon Okonjo-Iweala, Maina, HoSF

The House of Representatives yesterday summoned former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former chairman, Presidential Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina; Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and members of the pension team. The House also promised to provide security cover for the wanted ex- PRTT boos to appear before it.

 

Also summoned are the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu and his Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) counterpart as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN). Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and heads of agencies related to pension matters were also summoned.

 

Chairman of the House special panel investigating pension reforms activities since 2010, Hon. Anayo Nnebe, who disclosed this yesterday, announced that all the invited persons are to appear on Monday, March 12th. He said the invitation followed information at the panel’s disposal that there is a lot of looting of pension funds by those who should manage the funds.

 

The panel, he warned, was not out to witch hunt anybody, but will bring all the culprits to book.

 

According to him, the mandate of the panel is to recover looted funds for our common benefit. Nnebe stated that the parliamentary inquiry is to track funds and properties trapped as a result of pension maladministration in the country.

 

“It is our constitutional responsibility to oversight pension characterized by poor administration, lack of data and monumental corruption,” Nnebe said.

 

Speaker Yakubu Dogara, represented by Hon Pally Iriase, deputy whip, while declaring the investigative hearing open, said the probe had become necessary because of series of complaints of fraud by Nigerians.

 

Meanwhile, Sharon Ikeazor, executive secretary, Pension Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), noted that her agency was handed only liabilities. She also said that all funds are now subject to TSA and domiciled in the CBN, while properties that were recovered are being evaluated by Works and Housing Ministry, for proper pricing so that proceeds from their sales are deployed for pensioners. She told the committee that neither monies nor assets claimed to have been recovered by the Maina committee or any other body was handed over to PTAD.

 

“No monies, documents or reports were handed over to us by Maina. We inherited data,” Ikeazor stated.

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