…Gets N10m bail
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday told Justice Olusunbo Goodluck of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja how a former Head of Service to the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye diverted N800 million cash of the Presidential Committee on the Financial Action Task Force for his personal use.
He was, however, granted bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in the sum of N 5 million each. The sureties must be civil servants resident in the FCT not below the rank of a Director or retired Director in a Federal establishment.
The matter has been adjourned to March 24 and April 13 and 15 for trial.
Meanwhile, an angry Orosanye punched a video camera that was directed at him by a journalist while leaving the courtroom.
Justice Olusunbo Goodluck who delivered her ruling on Oronsaye’s bail application, which was argued by his counsel, Joe Ali (SAN), further directed that the court shall ascertain to ensure that the bail conditions are fulfilled.
Oronsaye was yesterday arraigned on fresh two-count charge of corruption and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N190 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Specifically, the prosecution alleged that Oronsaye, while serving as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Financial Action Task Force in 2013, abused his position by fraudulently obtaining N190m, being part of the N240 million grant which the committee received from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He pleaded not guilty to all the counts before a witness of the EFCC, Ngunan Kakwagh, alleged that Orasanye defrauded the Presidential Committee on Financial Task Force to the tune of N850 million.
In her evidence in chief, Kakwagh claimed that the accused person opened an account with the Access Bank which he used in siphoning the money which members were not aware of.
“The team wrote a letter to Access Bank requesting for the account opening package and also requested for the statement of account and other information that will aid the commission in its investigation.
“The bank responded by fashioning the commission with the account opening form signature specimen form, means of identification and instrument used in opening the account,” the witness said.
The prosecution witnesses further told the court that it discovered that the account was opened in 2012 with Orosanye requesting for it and signed as the Chairman of the committee.
“It was also discovered that the Access Bank account was not known to members of the committee and the Central Bank of Nigeria had funded the account through three transfers. The defendant also transferred N45 million,” the witness continued.
“The first transfer from CBN was N50m on October 2012, second transfer N90m in May 2013 and the defendant paid 9m five times the same day.”
Kakwgh who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, O. Uket further said the first N50m deposit was withdrawn by cheque and given to various people by Orosanye.
“The second N90m was paid through a fixed deposit. N100m was also paid into a fixed deposit account.
Delivering ruling on the bail application, Justice Olusunbo Goodluck held that the offences although attracted a punishment of 14 years imprisonment upon conviction, are bailable in nature.
Besides, she noted that the accused person was a former Principal Secretary to the President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and also a former Head of Service of the Federation.