The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 re-arraigned Mohammed Ahmed Katun, a former Assistant Director, Pension Account, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, OHCSF, on a 12-count amended charge bordering on diversion of pension funds to tune of N81.4million before Justice A. R. Mohammed of Federal High Court, Abuja.
Katun’s re-arraignment followed amendments to the 3-count charge on which he was docked on April 9, 2014 by the EFCC.
He is being accused of fraudulently diverting pension funds at different times to the tune of N81.4 million, into his personal account in the guise of collective allowance.
One of the counts reads:
“That you Mohammed Ahmed Katun while serving as an Assistant Director, Pension Department of the Office of Head of Service of the Federation on or about the 14th day of August, 2009 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, obtained by false pretences and with intent to defraud various sums of money amounting in the aggregate to N24,660,675.00 (Twenty Four Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Five Naira only) from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Pension Account held by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria through fraudulent payments described as collective allowances into your bank account maintained with Ecobank Nigeria Limited (former Oceanic International Bank Plc) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
Upon his plea, counsel to EFCC, Emmanuel Egwuagu asked the court for a date to commence trial.
However, the defence counsel, A. I. Lemu, urged the court allow the defendant continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him by the court; an application not objected to by the prosecution.
Justice Mohammed adjourned the case to April 26, 2016 for trial and ordered the defendant to continue the bail terms earlier granted him by the court.
It would be recalled that Katun had earlier been granted bail in the sum of N10million (ten million naira) and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a federal civil servant not below grade level 10, while the other surety must have landed properties in the Federal Capital Territory.