NCRIB warns brokers against individual, corporate misconducts * denounces Bestworth Ins. Brokers

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By Favour Nnabugwu

The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, has all insurance brokers to play by the rule with almost professionalism and integrity.

President of NCRIB, Mrs Bola Onigbogi who concerned by the reports on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Bestworth Insurance Brokers over N26bn PHCN Severance benefit.

The NCRIB claimed Bestworth Insurance Brokers is not a member of the Council, adding that NCRIB dissociated itself the conduct of the company and its MD, Mr Abiodun Waheed Hassan.

According to her, “The fact is that the company is not a member of our Council and as such we dissociate ourselves from its alleged heinous unprofessional conduct, for which it is being investigated”

“This is a challenge to all members to play according to the rules and eschew acts that could jeapardise individual and corporate reputation of our companies and the Council”.

Explaining further, Onigbogi said, “It was alleged that the stashed funds was meant for payment of outstanding insurance premium and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into the corporate account of entities”

The Council however urged all members to play according to the rules and eschew acts that could jeapardise individual and corporate reputation of our companies and the Council
It will be recalled that EFCC arraigned Abiodun Waheed Hassan and his Company Bestworth Insurance Brokers  on February 25, 3020 before Justice S.C Oriji of the Federal

Capital Territory High Court, Apo, Abuja on a five count charge of alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the
tune of over Twenty Six Billion Naira (N26billion).

The defendant allegedly diverted humongous sums of money earmarked for
the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and
incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), into the
corporate account of entities.

Count one of the charge reads: That you, Abiodun Waheed Hassan, Director, Bestworth Insurance Brokersi Limitedand  on or about 15th January 2015, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal CapitalTerritory, while being entrusted with certain property to wit: thebsum of N26,236,594,986.00 (Twenty-six Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty-sixMillion, Five Hundred and Ninety-four Thousand, Nine Hundreda and Eighty-six Naira only) paid into Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited’s Skye Bank Account No. 1771645118 from PHCN STAFF SEVERANCE

Benefits account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, being funds earmarked
for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased
and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), did
commit criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property by dishonestly misappropriating the sum of N2,500,000,000.00( Two Billion
Five Hundred Million Naira only) thereof when you transferred the said
sum into Kakatar CE Limited’s Zenith Bank Account No.1012637660 and you
thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Panel
Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004.”

Count Five states, “that you , Abiodun Waheed Hassan, Director,
Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited and Bestworth Insurance Brokers
Limited on or about 18th December 2014, in Abuja within the jurisdiction
of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, while being
entrusted with certain property to wit: the sum of N26,236,594,986.00
(Twenty-six Billion, Two Hundred and Thirty-six Million, Five Hundred
and Ninety-four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-six Naira only) paid
into Bestworth Insurance Brokers Limited’s Skye Bank Account No.
1771645118 from PHCN STAFF SEVERANCE Benefits account with the Central
Bank of Nigeria, being funds earmarked for the payment of outstanding
insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of
Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), did commit criminal breach of
trust in respect of the said property by dishonestly misappropriating
the sum of N6,000,000,000.00( Six Billion Naira only) thereof when you
transferred the said sum into PJO Venture Limited’s Skye Bank Account
No.1771645235 and you thereby committed an offence punishable under
Section 315 of the Panel Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,
(Abuja) 2004.”

The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’, when the charges were read to him.
Based on his plea, prosecution counsel, Benjamin Lawan Menji, ask for a
trial date and prayed the Court to remand the defendant at the
Correctional Service pending the trail.

Counsel for the defendant, Ade Olusalako told the court that the defense
had filed a motion for bail of his client and pleaded for the remand of
the defendant in the custody of the EFCC pending the determination of
his bail application on the grounds that “the defendant has been on
administrative bail for almost five years and he has an underlining
sickness”.

However, the prosecution counsel objected to the application. “As he
rightly submitted, we received the application but we shall vehemently
be opposing the application; we said vehemently so that the court will
know that we have a strong opposition. Moreover, our facility is
overstretched because of the issue of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the little
we have we are trying to manage them. The proper place of detention or
custody is the Correctional Service which the government has done its
best in providing”, Menji told the court.

However, Justice Oriji adjourned the matter till March 4, 2021 for
hearing on the bail application and remanded defendant in EFCC custody.

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