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– Some callous military officers that robbed families of soldiers killed by Boko Haram their benefits have been arrested by the EFCC
– The soldiers reportedly worked in collaboration with some bank officials to divert funds for the late soldiers’ next-of-kins into fake accounts
– Some members of the callous thieving ring are still at large but about six people have already been arrested for the fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested some military officers for diverting the benefits of soldiers that died on the warfront fighting Islamist insurgents Boko Haram in the north east.
The Nation reports that the commission arrested two military officers and four others for reportedly opening fake accounts to divert N339million benefits of next-of-kin of deceased military officers and men within two months.
The officers arrested were from the Military Pension Board including a Wing Commander and Lt. Commander.
The benefits diverted were said to belong to soldiers that died in fighting Boko Haram.
A top source in EFCC told The Nation: “We have arrested a serving Wing Commander, a Lt. Commander and four others for N339million death benefit of some deceased military officers and men. Two others are at large but we have watch-listed them.
“The affected military officers were both cashier and computer operator in Military Pension Board and they connived with six others to carry out the fraud in UBA branch, Wuse Zone 3 branch.
“Between April and June 2016, they opened accounts where benefits of the next-of-kins of deceased military men were diverted into. In fact, under two months, N339million was withdrawn and wired into more than 11 accounts. The withdrawal was in two tranches of N298million and N41million.
” The Auditors of the bank observed suspicious withdrawal of huge chunk of the cash from across the counter
“During the investigation, the Branch Manager and the Relationship Manager confessed and admitted opening these slush accounts. Some existing accounts of customers and the friends of the suspects were also used to divert the funds.
“Findings confirmed that the husbands of the two bank officials benefitted from the death benefit fraud.
“Two suspects, who are personal friends of the Branch Manager and Relationship Manager are at large. But we have watch-listed them. We will soon arrest them.
“The military officers also admitted to have colluded and conspired with the bank officials to use the slush accounts for the fraud. These serving military officers incorporated a company each and funds were wired into the accounts of their companies.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that more of the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram are set to return home soon.
He revealed this in Germany during discussions with German chancellor Angela Merkel. He assured the European leader that his government would continue to negotiate with Boko Haram until all the girls are released.