Former Head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye
A witness has revealed before a Federal High Court how a former Head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye secretly operated a bank account he used to steal N190 million belonging to the Federal Government.
A witness has revealed before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama, Abuja, how a former Head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, defrauded the Federal Government the sum of N190m using a fake account.
Oronsaye who was arraigned on Tuesday by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission committed the crime on June 12, 2013 and December 30, 2014 using his position as the then Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force.
Giving evidence, EFCC’s first prosecution witness, Ngunnan Kakwagh, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. O Uket, began her testimony, shortly after Oronsaye pleaded not guilty to the charges, on Tuesday.
Kakwagh alleged that the ex-Head of Service secretly operated an Access Bank account in the name of the presidential committee on FATF between 2012 and 2014 and received payments from the Central Bank of Nigeria through the account without the knowledge of other members of the committee.
According to her, Oronsaye received a total of N240m from the CBN through the account, and that Oronsaye also made “five structured payments” of N9m each, making a total of N45m, into the account in one day in September 2013.
She said from a total sum fo N285m of which N240m was paid into the account by the CBN, Oronsaye invested N190m in a fixed deposit, then later converted the money for personal use.
Kakwagh, an EFCC operative and member of the anti-graft agency’s team that investigated the petition leading the charges filed against Oronsaye, said the accused, as the sole-signatory to the account, also issued a number cheques to various individuals and in his name to make withdrawals from the account.
Under cross-examination by the lead defence counsel, Mr. Joe Agi, the witness said she did not make an enquiry from the offce of the AGF if the Zenith Bank account was known to it.
Having listened to the argument, the trial judge, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck granted bail to Oronsaye in the sum of N10m with two sureties in the sum of N5m each after dismissing objection by the EFCC to Oronsaye's bail application.
The two sureties must be resident in Abuja and must be serving or retired civil servant not less than a director in the federal civil service or its agencies. He also ruled that Oransaye's passport seized must be brought to court and adjourned matters till April 13 and 14.
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