Friday, March 24, 2023

Oronsaye knows fate April 5 over alleged N2 billion fraud

Also charged by the EFCC were Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.

• January 19, 2023
Stephen Oronsaye and EFCC
Stephen Oronsaye and EFCC

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has fixed April 5 to deliver judgment in the alleged N2 billion fraud charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former head of service, Stephen Oronsaye.

The trial judge, Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date on Wednesday after counsels adopted their final written addresses.

Adopting his address on behalf of the prosecution, Oluwaleke Atolagbe urged the court to consider all the evidence the prosecution presented.

Mr Atolagbe also urged the court to consider the testimony of all the 21 witnesses the prosecution called in convicting and sentencing the defendants.

Mr Oronsaye’s counsel, Ade Okeanya- Inneh, asked the court to discharge and acquit his client on the grounds that the prosecution failed to produce enough evidence to warrant a conviction.

“When the court is considering all the submissions made by the prosecution, the only question that the court should ask is where is the evidence,” the senior lawyer said.

Adopting his final address on behalf of the second and third defendants, Oluwole Aladedoyin urged the court to dismiss the remaining 27 counts still standing against the defendants.

Mr Aladedoyin said his prayer was premised on the fact that the charge against his client was unmeritorious and should have never been filed as there was no evidence to back it.

He urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.

The case began in 2015 with the arraignment of Mr Oronsaye alongside the Managing Director of Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Osarenkhoe Afe. They were docked on 49 counts bordering on fraud, but the prosecution later dropped 22 counts.

Also charged by the EFCC were Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.

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


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