FIA arrests two officials upon bail rejection by IHC

EOBI mega corruption scandal

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Friday arrested two senior officials of the Employees’ Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) upon rejection of their bail applications by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The two DGs were taken into custody from the IHC premises. The two officials are facing charges of mega corruption in the EOBI by raising the construction charges of Overseas Corporation Tower from Rs600 million to Rs 1.539 billion.
IHC Justice Amer Farooq turned down bail applications of Wahid Khurshid and Najamuddin Siddiqui as the FIA counsel argued they caused a loss to the national exchequer of over Rs1000 million by illegally increasing the cost price of the Overseas tower.
It may be mentioned here that Minister for Interior Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan last year while chairing a meeting had directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to expedite the investigation of mega corruption cases without any fear.
Chairing a high level meeting, he had said the investigation of mega corruption cases should be completed within weeks so that challans could be submitted in relevant court of laws, according to a press release issued here. He had said mega corruption cases would be brought to their logical conclusion and justice would be done in each case regardless of any duress from any quarter.
The meeting had also reviewed progress in mega corruption cases including (EOBI) Employees Old Age Benefit Institution, Trade Development Authority, Evacuee Trust Property Board, New Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan State Oil and Hajj Scheme Scandals. He observed that the PPP governments had looted the national exchequer with immunity. It is pertinent to note here that during the last PPP government, several scams surfaced in the EOBI. One scandal was about purchase of four floors in Faqir Plaza, Lahore for Rs250 million that was said to have caused a loss of over Rs180 million. In another scam, matters were taken to the Sindh High Court which ordered that names of six former officials of the EOBI and a commercial bank, who were allegedly involved in financial irregularities worth Rs5.2 billion, be placed on the Exit Control List.

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