The federal high court, Abuja division, yesterday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of two embattled officials of the pension office, Mr. Aliyu Bello and Abdullah Omeiva, following their alleged complicity in a 12 billion naira pension scam.
Justice Adamu bello issued the warrant for Bello and Omeiva after counsel to the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), Godwin Obla, had informed him that the arraignment of 33 persons allegedly involved in the pension scam could not proceed oweing to the absence of the 3rd and 7th accused persons (Bello and Omeiva).
Obla said the duo, who were granted administrative bail by EFCC after due interrogation several weeks ago and were served notice to appear in court for their arraignment, did not send words to the agency or the court to explain their absence.
He said that the accused persons were served with the charged on march 23 and April 4, 2011.
Accordingly, Obla made an oral application as provided for in section 351 of the criminal procedure act, praying the court to issue a bench warrant to compel their appearance so that trial could commence on a latter date.
The judge acceded to the request for bench warrant against the 3rd and 7th accused persons and consequently ordered the inspector general of police to produce them on May 7, 2011, for their plea to be taken.
The duo are among the 33 accused persons to be tried by EFCC on a 136 – count charge of corruption, abuse of office and theft. The accused include a former director of the pension and Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in kogi state, Dr. S.T. Shuaibu, his former deputy, Mrs. Phiana chidi and his personal assistant, Aliu Bello.
Others include officials and those allegedly served conduit-pipes for the siphoning of the said sums from the system.
EFCC had reportedly claimed that earlier investigation into the alleged pension scam led to the discovery of a secret personal bank account containing 1.5 billion naira, believed to have been diverted from the scheme. The discovery brought to 12 billion naira the money allegedly stolen from the scheme and said to have been lodged in three secret accounts by shuaibu, chidi and Bello.
One becomes so perplexed when all that can be seen from our own democracy is pains, greed, and corruption. Nigeria has continue to behave as if it is not part of the modern world but as a place where you can do anything to become anything. Once you have money by any means, you can buy everything including life and heaven will fall. What other societies will consider a crime is always the norm in Nigeria. We don’t care whether others are watching us. This is a society where a single person will park more than 20 cars in his compound and having houses in all major cities of the world and still be looking to acquire more as if he has 10 lives to live, as if he can sleep in two rooms at the same time and as if he can ride in two different cars at the same time. This kind of behavour has been the bane of our present democracy, political system and our society. Corruption still strives in Nigeria.

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