N1.4billion Fraud: Former boss of NSITF, Ngozi Olejeme slumps, absent in court

The trial of Ngozi Olejeme, former chairperson of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), was stalled on Monday owing to the absence of the defendant.
According to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Paul Erokoro, counsel to Olejeme, told the court that the former NSITF boss slumped at 6:30am on Monday.

Erokoro added that the defendant was subsequently rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.
EFCC had in October 2021 arraigned Olejeme before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi.
She was arraigned on a nine-count charge including abuse of office and using position to obtain over N1.4billion and $48,485,127.
The EFCC said her offences contravened the provisions of sections 8, 9 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offence Act 2000 and sections 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.
In one of the charges, Olejeme was accused of dishonestly receiving the sum of N350million paid into Able Jes Nigeria Limited, a company she was said to have interest in, and used her position to confer unfair advantage upon the said company by receiving various payments from BDCs.
She allegedly committed the offence while being the chairperson of the NSITF sometimes between 2012 and 2015 in Abuja.
Olejeme was also accused of receiving benefit to grant favour in the discharge of her official duties to (NSITF) by receiving N505 million sourced from the monies paid by NSTTF to Fountain Media Consults Ltd and Fountain Legal Services accounts as kickback.
At the continuation of her trial on Monday, counsel to the former NSITF boss presented a letter informing the court about the development on his client’s health, and prayed for an adjournment.
Erokoro added that he could not present a medical report as the hospital was still reviewing her case.
Responding, Steve Odiase, the prosecution counsel, did not oppose the application for adjournment.
“My lord, they served us with a letter seeking for an adjournment based on the defendant’s ill health, and being the defendant’s first time absenting herself in the court and for the interest of justice, we are not opposing their application seeking adjournment,” Odiase was quoted as saying.
The matter was thereafter adjourned till April 13 for continuation of trial.