EFCC Arraigns Managing Director for N6bn Deceased PHCN Staff Insurance Benefit Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, 21 October, 2021 arraigned the Managing Director of PJO Ventures Limited, Cecilia Osipitan and her company, PJO VENTURES LIMITED, and INSURANCE RESOURCERY and CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED before justice U.P Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja on a nine count charge bordering criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and conversion of public funds to the tune of N6, 000,000,000.00(Six billion Naira).
The money was meant for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN).
The offence contravenes Section 311 of the Panel Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act.
One of the counts read: “That you Cecilia Osipitan being the managing director of PJO Limited, PJO Limited and INSURANCE RESOURCERY and CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED sometime between 14th May, 2015 and 10th December 2015 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, while being entrusted the sum of N6,000,000,000.00( Six billion Naira) only transferred to PJO Ventures Limited’s SKY BANK ACCOUNT NO: 17711645235 by BESTWORTH INSURANCE BROKERS LIMITED for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of POWER HOLDING COMPANY OF NIGERIA, (PHCN), did dishonestly convert to your own use the sum of N1,120,000,000.00 (One Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Million) only out of the said N6,000,000,000.00( Six billion Naira) only when you transferred same to Tokunbo Talabi which represents payment for 25% shares of Great Nigerian Insurance Plc which you acquired from him, in violation of the legal contract which you made touching on the discharge of the said trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311 of the Panel Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act”.
After the charges were read to her, the defendant pleaded not guilty.
Justice Kekemeke granted her bail in the sum of N500, 000,000.00(Five Hundred Million Naira) with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be either Federal civil servant, Imam, Pastor, or member of the National Assembly residing in the Federal Capital Territory and own landed properties in Abuja.
The judge also ruled that the defendant be released to her counsel while she was given seven days to fulfil the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned till January 20, 2022 for commencement of trial.
Osipitan and her Company, PJO VENTURES LIMITED were earlier arraigned on March 26, 2021 on a nine count charge of money Laundering before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
▪︎ By Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC