Court remands whistle-blower over N700m pension fraud false alarm

An Ikeja High Court, Lagos has remanded a whistle-blower, Lord Umoh Archibong Edem, in prison custody over a false alarm over an alleged N700 million pension and tax evasion fraud.

Edem was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a one-count charge bordering on making false statement to a public officer.

The prosecution Counsel of the EFCC, S. O. Daji told the court that the defendant committed the alleged offence on August 7 in Lagos.

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Daji said that the defendant provided false information to a public officer and the EFCC about the involvement of a company, Starsonic/Sacvin Group of Nigeria, where he is an employee, in a pension and tax evasion fraud.

“The defendant, claimed that the management staff of the company was involved in a massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities in the tune of N700 million,” he said.

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The prosecutor added that the offence of making false statement to a public officer contravened Sections 96 (a) of the criminal law of Lagos State, 2011.

However, according to the charge sheet: “Edem had on August 7, with an intent to cause arrest and prosecution of the management staff of Starsonic/Sacvin Group Nigeria Limited gave information he knew to be false to the EFCC and Mrs Patience Kalu, a public officer, that the company is involved in a massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities running over N700m.”

Meanwhile, the defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him.

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