Alleged N190m fraud: Court discharges, acquits ex-HoS Oronsaye

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

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

Oronsaye was arraigned alongside Osarenkhoe Afe, Managing Director of Frederick 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.

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 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 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 Oronsaye and others of wrongdoing. (NAN)