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N2billion Money Laundering: Federation Ex-HoS, Stephen Oronsaye Accuses EFCC of Witch-haunting

A former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, has told Justice Inyang Ekwo, of the Federal High Court in Abuja that EFCC conducted a shoddy investigation before the charge was entered against him.

The Federation Ex-HoS made this known as he opened his defence to the N2billion money laundering charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Oronsaye, who was led in the witness box accused the anti-graft agency of deliberately witch-hunting, following a presentation he made before the National Assembly while he was still in office.

He told the court that he ran into trouble after he defended an Executive Bill on the EFCC, at a point when the Commission itself mounted strong opposition against the said Bill.

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According to him, shortly after he returned to his office at the end of his presentation at the NASS, the anti-graft agency, summoned him to its office.

He told the court that upon his arrival at the EFCC office on December 7, 2013, he was confronted with all manners of allegations.

Oronsaye told the court that the EFCC had yet to show him a copy of the petition that led to his trial.

The Federation Ex-HoS, while enumerating some of the services he rendered to the nation, recalled that he had, at a time, headed five special presidential committees.

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He insisted that throughout his tenure in office, he neither signed any payment mandate nor had any dealings with the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP.

“Contrary to EFCC allegation against me, only staff of the accountant general of the Federation have power to sign payment mandate”, he added.

While denying the allegation that he had on several occasions, transferred public funds from Union Bank to Unity Bank, the former HoS, also refuted the claim that he operated 66 different bank accounts.

Led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, the Federation Ex-HoS, however, admitted that he was not aware of the number of bank accounts that was operated by the Federal Government since he never served as the Accountant General of the Federation.

Oronsaye further tendered several documents in evidence, among which included a circular on contract threshold that was signed by the then Secretary-General of the Federation, Mr. Yayale Ahmed.

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Other documents he tendered were EFCC’s interim investigation report on alleged conspiracy and diversion of public funds, as well as the judgement that was delivered in the case of the jailed former Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Thereafter, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till May 24 for continuation of defence and cross-examination of the Oronsaye by the EFCC.

Justice Ekwo had ordered the Federation Ex-HoS to open his defence, after the EFCC closed its case having called a total of 21 witnesses that testified before the court.

Oronsaye was arraigned alongside the Managing Director of Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Mr. Osarenkhoe Afe.

Equally charged before the court by the EFCC included three companies- Cluster Logistic Limited; Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.

It was alleged that the Defendants had between 2010 and 2011, used the firms and diverted public funds through procurement fraud.

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Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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