*Spurious allegations of fund management by police pension office
The distinguished Chairman of the Joint Committee on Establishment, Public Service, States and Local Government, distinguished Senators, Heads of the Civil Service of the Federation (both past and present here seated), members of the Press, ladies and gentlemen.
May I tender my unreserved apology for my inadvertent absence from yesterday’s sitting which was due to the effect of the 11H00 to about 22H30 stretched session of Wednesday the 07/03/2012. Kindly refer to my medical report herewith presented.
I will do my best even under this condition to respond to the baseless and unchecked allegations tendered in my absence. I strongly refute all the various allegations of mismanagement and high handedness of pension funds against my personal integrity and the selfless service of honourable men and women of the Pension Reform Task Team.
As a people we have achieved statehood but are still far away from achieving nationhood because of the corrupt and wrong gross mental attitude of a few cabals. I believe that the efforts of the Executive in sanitising Pension are clearly producing dividends, I also believe in this distinguished Senate intention to chart the path for a seamless and efficient e-payment management system.
It will therefore be unwise of Nigerians to play to the gallery, let us be aware that corruption fights back, for example the mention of Mr Danjuma Zubairu (a staff of Fidelity Bank) from Kabba in Kogi State and I, Mr Maina, from Biu in Borno State is a clear violation of oath and a defamation of character.
I therefore urge the Senate and the Nigerian People not to be misled.
This distinguished Committee is kindly invited to carefully go through with me the facts and evidences clearly stated below;
|1||ALLEGATION ON REMOVAL OF GENUINE PENSIONERS FROM PAYROLL
|o On assumption of duties at the Police Pension Office in June 2011, a list was submitted as the pensioners’ payroll by the officials of the Police Pension Office with 19,712 pensioners earning a monthly total pension of N520, 211,657.23. The list is here presented and tendered as exhibit A.
o Merely going through the list without rigour, many names are conspicuously duplicated and after vetting of the said payroll 133 duplicated but extracted to bring the number down to 19,582 with corresponding payment reduced to N519,250,159.14. The duplicated names are here tendered as exhibit B.
o Furthermore after biometric validation, the list further reduced to 17,568 pensioners with a total monthly pension payment of N462,503,759.38. See payroll summary for June 2011 tendered as exhibit C, Summary for July 2011 tendered as exhibit D and August 2011 payroll summary pleaded as exhibit E. After this exercise, a cut of N56,746,399.76 was witnessed in Naira terms and 2,014 pensioners in payroll.
|2||OPENING OF ACCOUNTS WITHOUT AUTHORISATION
|o A letter for account opening in UBA and Fidelity Bank Plc was sent to the Accountant General of the Federation referenced PPO/OAGF/Vol/1/4 and dated 16th June 2011 by AD Accounts of Police Pension Office in person of John Yusuf. Letter here tendered as exhibit F.
o A letter referenced PPO/PRTT/008/Vol.1 dated 14th June 2011 conveying the account opening mandate cards with the names of all signatories including that of Messrs Kolawole Adeyemi and John Yusuf all of Police Pensions Office, who denied any participation in the account opening is also tendered here as exhibit G.
|3||ALLEGATION OF RUNNING ACCOUNTS BEFORE APPROVAL
|o I hereby refute that no activity or action was taken on any of the accounts except in anticipation of the Accountant General of the Federation’s approval on 24th June 2011 – a clear two (2) weeks after our mandate. See First Bank statement tendered as exhibit H.|
|4||ON THE ALLEGATION OF OPENING OF ACCOUNT IN MY BROTHER’S (DANJUMA ZUBAIRU) NAME||o It is on record that Danjuma Zubairu is neither a brother nor relation of mine rather he is the Group Head, Private Banking Abuja Region of the Fidelity Bank Plc. You may see the letter from the bank here tendered as exhibit I dated 16th June 2011.
o The management of Fidelity Bank Plc can be contacted to further validate this position.
o Danjuma Zubairu is from a different state of Origin from me
o The account statement bearing the particulars of the account name of Police Pension Office is also tendered as exhibit J.
|5||ALLEGATION OF CLOSING AND OPENING OF ACCOUNT WITH FIRST BANK
|o I hereby state categorically that no new account was opened with First Bank Plc as alleged rather the account was transferred from Lagos to Abuja in line with the provisions of the Section 701(iii) of Financial Regulations Act which the Police Pension Office was in clear breach.
o We could not see any justifiable reason to maintain an out-station account when the Police Pension Office has relocated from Lagos since 2008 but still operate a Lagos based account in violation of the Section 701(iii) of the Financial Regulations Act.
o The statement of First bank account No 2017859071 is hereby tendered as exhibit K and the cited Act hereby tendered as exhibit L.
|6||ALLEGATION OF DENIAL OF ACCESS TO ACCOUNT AT FIDELITY BY MR JIMOH ISHOLA
|o After the Coordinating Minister of Economy/Honourable Minister of Finance took over the running of the accounts of the Police Pension Office, it follows that no one is allowed to access the account except by proper authorization of the Honourable Minister.
o It therefore cannot be my directive as claimed by Mr Jimoh Isola
|7||ALLEGATION OF KEEPING POLICE GUARDS, EFCC AND ICPC PERSONNEL ON PRTT PAYROLL
|o This is far from being the truth because I am not aware of this. To press home further, I have just two Police personnel attached to me and none to any member of the task team. However this committee may instruct Mr Ishola Jimoh to produce any supporting document to throw more light on this allegation of his.|
|8||EQUIPMENT PURCHASE AND CONTRACT AWARDS
|o All equipments used for the biometric exercise were supplied by the Police Pension Office and not by PRTT as claimed.
o The Committee is hereby advised to beam into Police Pension Office for source of the equipments.
|9||ALLEGATION OF RETURN OF MONEY BY MR POLYCARP IBE
|o It should be said here that Mr Polycarp Ibe was not granted approval to travel by his employers. Having paid his duty tour allowance (DTA) and that of his boss (former EFCC Chairman), they returned the sum of N7, 492,000 into the Police Pension Office’s account.
o Some other persons like the former Inspector General of Police also returned various sums into the coffer for non-availability to participate in the exercise.
|10||ALLEGATION OF CHAIRMAN’S ENDORSEMENT TO TRANSACTIONS
|o My endorsement of cheque transactions were purely for internal control purposes to keep a tap on the accounts and in line with the account opening mandate which was agreed by Police Pension Office and the Pension Reform task team.
o This has been earlier pleaded as exhibit G – account opening mandate
|11||ALLEGATION OF N3.3 BILLION EXPENDITURE
|o PRTT has never spent such amount throughout its two months and two weeks of operations in Police Pension Office. Mr John Yusuf (the former Assistant Director of Accounts) in the Police Pension Office should be summoned to explain this.
o Mr Tunji Ishola may also help out in this regard. The sums of money met in the various banks accounts as at June 2010 are intact but for the monthly allocations which were received and used to pay the pensioners as at when released. See Statement of Account as tendered as exhibit N
|12||DISRUPTION OF POLICE PENSION PAYMENT
|o We find this allegation as baseless and unfounded. We had a stint of 10 weeks in the reform of the Police Pension Office but we never disrupted payments of Police pensioners as being claimed.
o I am reaffirming before this committee that payments are made as at when due as contained in the letters of authorization of the CME/HMF to Ecobank Plc referenced HMF/FMF/2011/I and dated 5th October, 2011 for the payment of September pensions.
o Letter here tendered as exhibit O and the Statement of account from 1st January 2011 to 8th March 2012 to show an uninterrupted payment of pensions tendered as exhibit P
|13||COMPLETE DENIAL OF INVOLVEMENT IN OPERATION OF ACCOUNTS BY MESSRS TUNJI ISHOLA AND KOLAWOLE ADEYEMI
|o It is sad to note that such officerslie under oath, misled this distinguished committee and deceived Nigerians.
o It is a trite fact that the same Mr Kolawole Adeyemi authored a letter referenced DPPO I/SI/Vol I/21 dated 23rd August 2011 duly signed and containing names of Toyin Ishola, Edwin Nwokoye and Kolawole Adeyemi reconfirming the existing status of the account mandate and affirming his status as the Director of Police Pension Office to Fidelity Bank Plc. See letter here tendered as exhibit Q.
|14||REFUTAL OF N119 MILLIION MISAPPROPRIATION BY MY YAKUBU KOLAWOLE ADEYEMI
|o As I said earlier before this committee, I still stand by my statement that the sum of N119 million was misappropriated.
o A forensic report with me here shows how non-pensioners were paid various sums of money and how accounts were credited with large sums of cash far above what they deserve while some were even paid far below their entitlements.
o All in all this amounted to N43, 960,600.15 and the total amount paid to next of kin amounted to N11, 607,844.09. When these are added, we will have N55, 568,444.24 which is N63, 431,555.76 less than the N119 million claimed to have been paid. My questions here are: why were some beneficiaries paid twice in the same month? Why were some paid in excess of their entitlements? Why were some paid below their benefits? And finally how did names of non-pensioners got to the payroll? These are pertinent questions to be answered by Mr Kolawole Adeyemi. I here tender this report as exhibits R, the analysis as exhibit S and the payroll with the phoney names as exhibit T.
|15||THE HYPE ABOUT POLICE PENSION OFFICE BEING THE BEST
|o I would not have comment on this but for emphasis purposes that the Police pensioners are the least paid when compared with other para-military organizations. For example an Assistant Superintendent of Police is at par with a Prison warder.
o A comparison between a Commissioner of Police and a Comptroller of Prisons will reveal a wide gap in pension entitlements. Where others have been able to harmonise their pensions, Police is trailing behind from a far distance.
|In my conclusion, I have no basis to misrepresent any fact before this Distinguished committee but to assist the Senate and the Executive with recommendations and facts to find a lasting solution to the pension crisis in Nigeria so that at my retirement a legacy would have been collectively established for posterity sake. GOD Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria benefits.|
Reference to (1) above the PRTT payment schedule is brought for you to see. The beginning of the payment schedule and the end of the payment schedule for the month of June are reproduced to show that there was no
‘mago-mago’ in the structure of the payment.
All these were documents submitted to both the two chambers of the National Assembly and all the organisations that has membership in the PRTT.
By tomorrow, we shall publish the letter with which the PRTT transmitted the same load of documents she has to
the EFCC. It is the same volume of documents that the two chambers got from the PRTT.
POSER: If not for the influence of what the pension suspects had gathered, how would the PRTT members have faced several insult, threats and assault from the Senate. If Nigerians remember very well (we can make the video available as we have same) when Ibrahim Lamorde, who eventually became the Chairman of the EFCC was annihilated by the Senate members.