Hearing on a case of abuse of office and fraud brought against Stephen Oronsaye, a former Head of Service, HoS, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, continued on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 with the prosecution presenting its sixth witness, PW6, Hammaadama Bello, for cross-examination.
Oronsaye, who was also the chairman of Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force (PCFATF), is facing a 7-count charge before Justice Olasumbo O. Goodluck of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
He is being accused of allegedly taking undue advantage of his office to receive N190m, part of a N240m grant for the committee, received from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and converted same to personal use.
Bello, an operative of the EFCC, while being cross-examined by Oronsaye’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, maintained that he instructed a ‘Post No Debit’ (PND) on the supposed committee account in Access Bank when he realised through investigations, that the opening of the account was not authorised by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF.
“I discovered that the defendant withdrew about N86m from the committee’s account in Zenith Bank which was not accounted for. He made promises to bring the documents justifying the withdrawal but he never did.
“We wrote to the office of AGF asking if it authorised the committee account opened in Access Bank to which the defendant is a sole signatory and in their response they stated that they only authorised the opening of the committee account in Zenith Bank. They also provided the details of the account as well as the funds in it”, he stated.
The PW6 went further to tell the court that, the defendant (Oronsaye) made several withdrawals from the Access Bank account using one Friday Oge who takes the cash to him.
“We also observed that equivalent of the withdrawn sums were paid into his personal account on same date.
“N50m cash was given to the defendant from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, which he paid in tranches of N9million into the fraudulent committee account in Access Bank”, Bello added.
At the end of the cross-examination, counsel to EFCC, O. I. Bukar declared that, “the prosecution shall be closing its case”.
Justice Goodluck, thereafter, adjourned to December 9, 2016 for defence.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.