Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Ex-NSITF boss, Olejeme, remanded in EFCC custody, to know fate today

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned Ngozi Olejeme, former chairperson of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), before a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Jabi.

Olejeme was arraigned on a nine-count charge bordering on alleged diversion of public funds and money laundering worth about N69 billion before Maryam Hassan Aliyu, the presiding judge.

Upon arraignment, she pleaded not guilty while her lawyer, Paul Erokoro, moved an application for her bail.

“The applicant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years. She has had four major surgeries in the United States of America and South Africa,” he said.

“Four months ago, the applicant suffered a heart failure and last month, she caught COVID-19 and she is still in the recovery process. She will have follow-up surgery, one of which is scheduled to hold next month in South Africa.”

Erokoro also dismissed allegations that the applicant breached her administrative bail and escaped from the country.

Although Steve Odiase, prosecuting counsel, did not oppose the application, he insisted that the ex-NSITF chair must be granted conditional bail, requiring that she presents a surety.

In a short ruling, the judge ordered that the defendant be kept in the custody of the EFCC pending ruling on the bail application, which was set for October 22 (today).

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