Ex-HoSF, Oronsaye Discharged And Acquitted In Alleged N190M Fraud Trial
A former Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF) Chief Stephen Oronsaye has again been discharged and acquitted from the N190M corruption charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, freed Oronsaye from the fraud charges due to.want of merit in the allegations against him.
Justice Ekwo, in a judgment, held that EFCC failed to provide enough evidence to warrant Oronsaye’s conviction.
The former Head of Service of the Federation was arraigned alongside Osarenkhoe Afe, Managing Director of Fredrick 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.
In the findings of the Court, Justice Ekwo held that the anti-graft agency failed woefully to supply to court ingredients that could establish the alleged corruption charges against Oronsaye.
Justice Ekwo subsequently dismissed the charges in relation to Oronsaye, discharged and acquitted him.
Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the FCT High Court, now elevated to Court of Appeal had dismissed similar fraud charges against Oronsaye, discharged and acquitted him on the ground that the charges were frivolous and lacked merit that can lead to conviction of the defendant.