The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday filed separate charges before a Federal High Court in Abuja, against 40 suspects implicated in an alleged N4.56 billion pension scam.
Those facing the fresh charges are the former Director, Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu, nine other accused and 30 companies.
Apart from Shuaibu, others are Mohammed Ahmed Katun, Garba Abdullahi Tahir, Abdul Mohammed, Emmanuel Olanipekun, Aliyu Bello, Abdullahi Omeiza, Phina Chidi, Franklin Okey Nwankwo and Omoefe Eric Uduesegbe.
A statement made available to THISDAY, stated that the suspects had been standing trial on a 24- count charge bordering on stealing before Justice Adamu Bello.
But at the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Godwin Obla, informed the court of his intention to constitute separate trial for all the accused, and that he had filed seven separate charges against the accused persons.
Obla informed the court that all 10 accused persons had been duly served with the new charges.
However, counsel to the first accused, Mr. Sunday Ameh, objected to the oral application made by the prosecution to amend or withdraw the previous charge. He said the prosecution had not placed sufficient reasons before the court to justify the action.
The statement added that Ameh also claimed that his client had just been served with the new charge and would need time to study it and raise objection, if necessary. He, therefore, called for an adjournment. Other defence counsel aligned themselves with him.
However, Justice Bello ruled that it was within the prosecution’s right to withdraw any charge before the court or file a new one where necessary.
He therefore dismissed the defence objection to the new charges as baseless and lacking in merit.
With the new charges, the suspects were expected to take fresh pleas.