Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Court acquits ex-HoS Oronsaye of alleged money laundering charge

Mr Stephen Oronsaye was accused by the EFCC of fraud to the tune of the N190 million.

• June 5, 2023
Ex-HoS Stephen Oronsaye
Ex-HoS Stephen Oronsaye

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday discharged and acquitted former Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, of the N190 million fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to warrant Mr Oronsaye’s conviction.

The former HoS was arraigned alongside Osarenkhoe Afe, Managing Director of Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, on a 49-count charge.

But the charges were later amended and reduced to 22 counts after the anti-graft commission separated the parts involving a former head of the Presidential Pension Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was then at large.

Mr Maina was later charged separately by the EFCC and was subsequently convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment in November 2021.

Three companies — Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited were also joined in the charge preferred against Mr Oronsaye by the EFCC.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants had, between 2010 and 2011, used the firms to divert public funds through procurement fraud.

The EFCC equally accused Mr Orosanye and the others of using inflated biometrics enrolment contracts, collective allowances and other schemes to siphon money from accounts containing pensioners’ funds.

The commission also tendered a report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the Federal Government’s pension accounts which indicted Mr Oronsaye and others of wrongdoing.


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