Trial opened on Tuesday in the case against the ex-Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Steve Oronsaye and others before the Federal High Court, Abuja, with a prosecution witness giving details of how the defendants allegedly diverted 14billion pensioners’ fund using phoney names and contracts.
This is the second case involving Oronsaye, as he is also being tried before Justice Olasumbo Goodlcuk of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, Abuja, for allegedly exploiting his position as Chairman of the Presidential Committee of Financial Action Task Force (PCFATF), under President Goodluck Jonathan, to divert about N382.9m, using a secret account in Access Bank.
Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and four firms are being tried before the Federal High Court on a 35-count charge of conducting procurement fraud.
The firms are: Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited (believed to be owned by Afe), Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.
Testifying in the case before the Federal High Court, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rouqayya Ibrahim, gave details of how Oronsaye and others allegedly diverted states funds using about 66 illegal bank accounts.
Ibrahim said Oronsaye and others effected the alleged diversion through payments to “ghost” pensioners and disbursements of funds for non-existing contracts.
The witness said the defendants also engaged in payments of non-existing allowances to fake members of staff and to the National Union of Pensioners and Association of Federal Civil Service Retirees.
Ibrahim was led in evidence by prosecution lawyer, Adebisi Adeniyi.
She added that aside a company – Innovative Solutions Uptrach Communications Limited – which executed “a semblance” of a contract awarded, other firms were paid for non-existing jobs.