A Federal High Court judgment has been admitted as an exhibit against former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye in the N2 billion alleged corruption charges brought against him by the Nigerian government.
The judgement, which convicted and jailed former Chairman, Defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina for six years, was admitted on Tuesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) tendered the judgment as evidence in the ongoing trial of Oronsaye on money laundering charges.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe tendered the judgment through Ms Rukayat Ibrahim, the prosecution’s 20th witness in the ongoing trial, at the resumed of the trial on Tuesday.
Ibrahim is an official of the EFCC and had been giving testimony in the trial in the last one year, told the court that the Commission had succeeded in convicting Maina and sentencing him to six years in prison for N2.7 billion pension fraud.
She said the money was in the pension fund and that investigation revealed the money was approved by Oronsaye. The EFCC official also noted that Maina opened five fictitious accounts in a commercial bank and used them to siphon the money from the pension fund for his personal use.
“Our investigation revealed that Abdulrasheed Maina took advantage of the fact that his brother worked with one of the commercial banks and opened the accounts in contravention to provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
“The accounts were opened without carrying out ‘know your customer’, they were operated through SMS and emails and our investigations showed that although they had fictitious names, they were operated by Abdulrasheed Maina even though his name and picture did not appear on any of the accounts.
“We were able to link them to him through his signature on his extra-judicial statement, the phone number used to receive alerts and some payments from those accounts were traced to his real account.”
Ibrahim also revealed that the investigation revealed that on July 15, 2010, a sum of over N101 million was transferred to Oronsaye’s account.
According to her, when the commission asked for an explanation, Oronsaye gave an explanation that was not clear and brought a letter from the presidency, stating that the money was sent to the presidency.
The matter was adjourned till February 3 by Justice Inyang Ekwo for cross-examination of the witness.
Oronsaye is being tried, alongside others, for allegedly using inflated biometrics enrollment contracts, collective allowances and other schemes to siphon money from accounts in which pensioners funds were kept.