Supreme Court Fixes April 22 to Decide Fate of Pension Director Over Alleged N32.8bn Embezzlement

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THE Supreme Court on Thursday fixed April 22, 2022 for judgment in an appeal filed by a former Federal Director of Pension, Mr John Yusuf, challenging his six years imprisonment by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Yusuf is also contesting an order of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal that he should refund to the coffers of the federal government the sum of N22.9 billion he admitted to have diverted for personal use.

Justice Mohammed Dattijo, who led a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court, fixed the date after taking arguments from counsel to parties in the suit, Oluwaleke Atolagbe for the federal government and Theodore Maiyaki for the jailed director.

Yusuf is praying the Supreme Court to set aside a judgment of the Court of Appeal which sentenced him to six years imprisonment and also ordered him to refund N22.9 billion to the federal government.

He had, at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in a plea bargain arrangement, admitted to diverting to personal use the sum of N22.9 billion being pension fund entrusted to him by the federal government.

His admission of guilt at the High Court followed a three-count criminal charges bothering on breach of trust, diversion of N32.8 billion pension fund among others, brought against him by the government.

He was on January 28, 2013 jailed two years by Justice Abubakar Talba but granted an option of N750,000 fine in lieu of the imprisonment.

However, upon an appeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Court of Appeal on March 21, 2018 reversed the High Court judgment.

The Court of Appeal therefore imposed a jail term of six years on him and also ordered him to return N22.9 billion to the federal government.

In his appeal at the Supreme Court, Yusuf, who is currently serving six years jail term at Kuje Correctional Centre, argued that the Court of Appeal in Abuja was too harsh in its judgment against him and asked the Apex Court to void the judgment so as not to make him suffer double jeopardy.

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