Alleged N123billion Fraud: UK-based group petitions EFCC, demands probe of ex-Head of Service,Oronsaye

Steve Oronsaye and the damning report

The Nigeria Liberty Forum, a United Kingdom-based pro-democracy group has requested the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate Nigeria’s former Head of Service, Stephen Oronsaye, over alleged mismanagement of N123billion‎ during his reign.

PREMIUM TIMES had on September 15, published an exclusive story on the damning audit report from the office of the Auditor General for the Federation in which Mr. Oronsaye was indicted over an alleged N123billion fraud between 2009 and 2010.

In its petition, the UK-based pro-democracy group drew attention of the EFCC to some of the blatant misdeeds of Mr. Oronsaye and called for thorough investigation.

Quoting extensively from PREMIUM TIMES report, the group sought investigation into the N52 billion unaccounted monthly pension payments, collection of N1.03 billion kickbacks from Pensions Union, cornering of N15.6 billion death benefit of pensioners and transfer of N54 billion from 58 untraceable illegal accounts.

“The said report has further buttressed need for thorough probe into the tenures of Mr. Oronsaye and other Former Heads of Service of the Federation,” the group’s Coordinator, Oluwakayode Ogundamisi, stated.

“The Nigerian Liberty Forum recalls that Saharareprters had on November 26, 2013 reported that the EFCC has invited Mr. Oronsaye for questioning, based on his involvement in the Pension scam, since then nothing has been heard about the case.”

The group made reference to the disclaimer which was published by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation on September 19, in some major newspapers in the country, claiming that no report ever indicted the former head of service.

It also referred to the response to the disclaimer in which PREMIUM TIMES did a follow-up story on September, 22, reaffirming its earlier story and publishing some section of the report.

“NLF is greatly concerned by the EFCC’s deepening silence in the midst of these monumental fraud allegations, Mr. Ogundamisi said.

“NLF wish to further request the commission to investigate the allege ownership of a multi billion naira Protea Hotel Asokoro by Mr. Oronsaye. The said hotel is alleged to be owned by Mr. Oronsaye through a proxy.

“We also tasked the commission to investigate how Mrs. Margaret Oronsaye owned another multi billion naira investment named Children’s Affairs, located in a primed area of Kolda Street Wuse II Abuja.”

According to Mr. Ogundamisi, information available to his group shows that Mr. Oronsaye’s share of the pension loot is laundered through businesses mentioned in this report and other investments in real estates

The group, therefore, drew EFCC’s attention to Section 27 of the EFCC Act. 2004, which provides that a person arrested for committing an offence under the Act shall make full disclosure of all assets and properties by completing the declaration of Assets form.

“NLF hereby calls on the EFCC, by the powers vested on the Commission under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004, to commence extensive investigation into these fresh allegations, and the extent of involvement of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, for necessary action, and make public its findings,” Mr. Ogundamisi said.

“Failure by the commission to act within reasonable time and speed, this forum will not hesitate to take her advocacy to the next level, in order to ensure justice for these ordinary retirees who are the primary victims of this ungodly act.”

The group attached the complete report of the audit for reference by the anti-graft commission and also sought a formal acknowledgement of the receipt of its petition which was copied to stakeholder all over the world.

Some of such stakeholders included the Governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Canada, Spain and South Africa.

Reviewing the 169-page report, entitled “Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions,” PREMIUM TIMES had uncovered how Mr. Oronsaye was found to have allegedly presided over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.

The audit by the Auditor General arose from the work of a Special Audit Team constituted by the Federal Government in May 2011 to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounts of the Civilian Pension Department domiciled in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, uncovered monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick-backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Mr. Oronsaye served as Head of Service.

The Auditor General’s office, insiders say, completed its assignment and submitted its report to government in 2012. But no action was taken to bring all those indicted to book.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt there was a high-level lobby at the highest reach of government to suppress the findings and allow those found culpable to enjoy their loot.

But while allegations of massive corruption hang around his neck, Mr. Oronsaye remains very close to President Goodluck Jonathan and has unhindered access to the presidential villa.

Besides, the former head of service has consistently occupied some of the most important positions in the country.

During the past 10 years, Mr. Oronsaye has served as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force, FATF, and is board member of both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the two public organisations widely considered the most lucrative in the country.

Although top government officials tried hard to suppress the damning report, PREMIUM TIMES was able to scoop its content for its readers, in a story that was both shocking and mind-boggling.

The report found that the pension payroll was never subjected to internal audit between June 2009 and December 2010; and that the over N52billion paid as monthly pension under Mr. Oronsaye’s reign remained largely unaccounted for.

The payments, auditors say, were not presented for internal and federal audits for prepayment audit as required by Nigerian financial regulation.

The examination also documented evidence of payment for goods running into hundreds of millions of naira that were not supplied.

For instance, about N700million was paid to 223 different contractors for store items. However, no payment vouchers were available for inspection as the investigators carried out their assignments. The payments were also not recorded in the cashbook, leading auditors to conclude that since store receipt vouchers could not be traced, the items were most probably never supplied.

Equally tainted with financial irregularities, the report says, was pension remittance to states and industrial unions during Mr. Oronsaye’s reign. A serious infraction was detected in the payment of N2.08billion check-off dues to the Nigerian Union of Pensioners in 2009 and 2010. When auditors computed and analyzed the figures in accordance with the mandatory one per cent deducted from statutory pension allocations, they found that N1.03bn was overpaid. The report alleged the amount was passed to Mr. Oronsaye as kickbacks.

The auditors also expressed shock at the absence of a single receipt from any state government acknowledging the payments purportedly made to them as five per cent federal government contribution and reimbursements. Consequently, there was no single shred of evidence to indicate that these remittances were actually made, the report said.

Even more damning was the revelation that the N15.6billion released by the Federal Government for the settlement of death benefits of deceased civil servants in July 2010 could not be accounted for.

Checks by this newspaper suggested the money was moved to an illegal account in Federal Secretariat branch of Union Bank. The account, we learnt, was personally operated by Mr. Oronsaye and managed by his sister in-law. The funds, those who should know said, were placed in an interest-yielding account with the bank without any document to indicate how much was agreed upon as interests.

Indeed, the report revealed the existence and operation of unauthorized accounts.

Between 2009 and 2010, 58 bank accounts were allegedly opened at the instance of Mr. Oronsaye without the knowledge and approval of the Accountant General of the Federation. Over N54 billion were transferred to these illegal accounts and eventually withdrawn for undisclosed purposes. The accounts had no cashbooks, payment vouchers, bank reconciliation statements, transcript or any evidence of expenditure returns.

Mr. Oronsaye later issued a statement, denying wrongdoing.

“For the records, the major gap identified in the administration of civil service pensions when I came on board in 2009 was the lack of proper records,” the former head of service said. “My team and I made far reaching efforts to address this shortcoming through the physical verification and biometric capture of civilian pensioners across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who retired from the Service before July 1, 2007.”


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  • MushinSpeaks

    Sigh! Ours is a nation where we respect thieves and corrupt leaders; in fact we celebrate them. Thus, judgement cant be served./

    It may interest you to know that they are so jealous that anybody found imitating them is jailed 15-40 years.

    This is what the present administration has turned the country to be.

    This must not continue.

    We want change.

  • Oleku

    All these hungry individuals squatting in Peckham who keeps jotting down gbegiri ati ewedu petition sponsored by the janjaweedians should stop wasting our time–what those of us from the oily producing states yearn for is self determination, resource control and outright secession–not forcing down our throats amala petition–the problem with Yorubas is that they do not know what they want or perhaps just sticking to nature-treachery and backstabbing–when will the Yorubas sponsor petition on their own–are they telling us that the ota baboon ati Ayatollah Tinubu the cocaine junkie and fraud is not corrupt–when are they going to write petition indicting them–just like the Mohammedans Yorubas believes that those of us from the SS&SE are second class citizens–they claim to have oil in Lagos but Naijas are yet to see a dime derived from supposedly oily Lagos–Yorubas and the rest of the janjaweedians should be told that the SS&SE are not allergic to two term presidency and any gang up with their Mohammedan masters will be resisted–when will these descendants of Oodua in the UK seek for Oodua Republic–the Mohammedans now have Islamic Empire-animals

    • Dr. Kay

      You moronic imbecile, you must be so ashamed of your life maybe you don’t even know your papa because you are born of a harlot at onitsa red light distric/ somewhere in the Niger delta. People are trying to bring sanity into the the bastardized economy created and ruined by your paymaster (Dumbo and company),you atrocious e-rat you turning it into ethnic slang off. If you are not a phool , you would realize that the people whose money are being diverted into this Oronsayes account cuts across all ethnic spectrum, as long as you are in the civil service your pension is fair game for these morons . But because , the moronic thief is from your area you’ve turned a legitimate opposition to corruption ,into dancing to ethnic bigotry gallery. What can your SS/SE do together if the other parts of Naija is not involved, no man is an island and no ethnic conclave is a do it know it all, you are so blind that you can’t even see the front of your nose, no one mentioned religion or ethnicity in the main write up but you just have to dig it out, cause that’s the only reasonable sentence you can string together to defend the indefensible . What a piece of deadwood you lots are! Shioh (hisses with contempt).

      • Conscience

        Keep quiet for there. When you are called by your real name then you get agitated and begin to shout up and down. Is he not right? Small time now you will find one “General” begging a Major with his 2 knees on the floor and receiving tissue papers to wipe tears? Can u imagine that? …army General begging bcos he is afraid of bullet? So tell me, if such a man is told to steal or lie in a useless report if threatened with just a cutlass won’t he conform?

        See how your village people plenty and defect to APC just bcos of the small threat of blood on the street by Buhari….abi you think say people no know?

    • Ayodeji

      This moron called Oleku or Wendell Simlin keeps churning out purulent comments on this blog in support of thieves that are plundering our Commonwealth. What shall we say to this? For someone to steal money that belongs to the dead! You starved them of their pension till they died. Now after, you still refuse to pay after they have gone. What a country Nigeria!!!

  • Chief Ovie Obaro (JP)

    I don’t want to hear anything ‘UK’ said this or that. Is UK not the problem of Nigeria today? Why would UK refuse to amalgamate itself with France, Portugal & Spain but come to Africa to amalgamate nations so divergent in everything conceivable? Today, Nigeria is the population of UK, France, Portugal & Spain put together. How then do you expect order? If the four European countries listed above form a single country, would there be order? Would there be peace? Would the British tolerate the Portuguese as President? Your guess is as good as mine… But they are only four languages apart and our Nigeria is over 15 MAJOR Languages apart.

    So, stop this UK nonsense. Tell me of what a Nigerian group resident in Nigeria said and not what an APC affiliated so called UK group said. Nonsense!

    By the way, na today stealing start? When you refused to jail the thief in ITT in the 70s, the thief of $12.7b during the 90s i.e., Gulf war oil sales windfall, ….and more recently the thief in Legislathief chambers- our very own Farouk De Dollar, why then will Orosanye not steal? Thief no be thief?

    Make prosecution, punishment and execution for stealing retroactive …and corruption ends same day. But we are a continent and not a country. This is the problem. Break up Nigeria so that every country can decisively deal and even kill its own thieves without fear of ethnic cleansing. E.,g, the People of Kano can cut of the hand, sorry, head of Farouk De Dollarfor stealling Dollars and nobody will complain. No be so?

    • endingNaija

      Na today stealing start-these are your words. So, because no be today stealing start, stealing must continue well well well because according to President Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, stealing no be corruption.

      • Chief Ovie Obaro (JP)

        I suspect you are perhaps a little more intelligent than your comment. Your interpretation of my Pidgin English expression shows your lack of understanding of the language or pretense or both. For the sake of those who are not verse in Pidgin English, especially the unadulterated original version spoken in the South South Republic, the expression ‘”Na today stealing start” as used in the context which it was used, simply translates thus: ‘You do not pursue only the thief of today, but pursue the thief of past years too and bring ALL to justice’.

        You no see your life? Common simple aariantnd correct Pidgin English dey hard you to decipher. If I begin speak concentrated Pidgin na wetin you go do? Nonsense!

        • endingNaija

          I know say you dey mix your “original” pidgin with sapele water. And when your eye no clear yu no go fit think. When we dey see your yansh when wind don blow wetin yu go do? Better for yu ro remove the sapele water in your brain. You attempted to defend a thief . Yu were caught pants down. Yu run to divert. I am sure it is the usual south south wayo. We are used to it, at least your master in corruption your president Goodluck Jonathan said it all -“stealing is not corruption”!

    • concerned9ja

      Rubbish talk. Size is not the problem. People like you who think upside down are the problem of this country

      • Muyiwa (Idanre)

        Size is all the problem bro. Lets be frank.

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  • True Nigerian

    These civil society groups can sometimes live in an unreal world. They keep on calling EFCC to probe this and probe that when they can already see that EFCC’s functionality is grossly limited under a heavily corrupt government backed by a legislature that is obsessed with regime protection in the interest of vested individual interests. Jonathan’s government is swimming in corruption. It is arguably the most corrupt and most pro-corruption government in the history of this country. How can EFCC genuinely probe any monumental corruption of this kind under such a government? Pragmatism is important! Jonathan has not probed oil theft generals and militants, he is on national television defending Diezani who has 5 official indictments on monumental corruption; Tony Anenih, who disappeared more than N300b, is Jonathan’s closest confidant; Tompolo and Asari are being offered security contracts for our ports and military hardware; 2 trillion is stolen from the people of this country by a few friends of Jonathan in the name of subsidy. And till date, none of them is a jailed convict. Yet, somehow, people continue to call for EFCC to probe this and probe that. Pragmatism is important. The right thing to do now is for all civil society to come together and mobilise the people to send Mr Corruption back to Otueke with his sheepish smile that conceals a dangerous disposition to treachery and desperation.

    • concerned9ja

      You are dead wrong. Jonathan govt does not swim in corruption, it BREATHES corrution. It is its blood and water. The msn has declared there is no corruption in 9ja. I agree with u mobilisation should now concentrate in how to vote him out. Jona is corruption, he is an enemy of Nigeria.

  • j4p

    These are weighty allegations and should be investigated by a judicial inquiry. The reason it should be judicial inquiry is because it seems that EFCC hands are tied.

    • Conscience_an_Open_Wound

      Weightier than $250,000 stocked beneath the cap of a sitting Senator? ….are we still on the same page?

  • the truth

    corruption is entailed in the average Nigerian. Their needs to be a
    re-orientation of the people from kindergarten age to university
    education. This has eaten deep into the society.

  • warry

    If the E FCC refuse to do something, let private persons sue with the available evidence so that we don’t just policize it and go to sleep

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    PDP-led by president Ebele Jonathan will not allow EFCC,ICPC and CCB to carry out their constitutional anti-corruption acts to investigate,prosecute and the court to impose penalty against the indicted head of service,Stephen Orobsaye,Diezani Alison
    Madueke ,the petroleum minister who has been indicted severally for looting,stealing,scamming and embezzlement from NNPC-public treasuries especially the conversion of public funds-N10 billion naira which Madueke paid for rental of a private jet used for two years and former aviation minister,Stella Oduah,who illegally spent N255 million naira on purchases of two-bullet-proof BMW cars without congressional approval.President Ebele Jonathan encourages massive corruption practices and claimed stealing from public treasuries is not corruption act.Untill a new president takes over on may 29,2015 to restructure and change the present picture of anti-transparency and looting and stealing personae-profile of Nigeria presidency.Enough of PDP-one-party-state posture of fifteen years.

    • Prof Bibikoweibiko Taekena

      Did you forget the thief who slept on N50m bed while cutting down the salary of teachers? How hard is equity a word for you to comprehend?

  • Konkolo

    Nigeria, the country where the best and profitable moving business venture is to be a government official. By government official, I mean, to serve or hold official portfolio such as council chairman, state governor, federal minister and so on and so forth. Whereas, in civilized societies, to be in government is to serve the people and making sure that an average citizen of that society enjoys one form of dividend of democracy or the other. Why don’t our thieving leaders have any otha of shame left in them? In Churches/Mosques, they are offered front role seats and so dignified that it is so repulsive. What is so dignifying about a ROGUE that stole our collective wealth?
    Unfortunately, we the people like to sing their praises and call them ‘Honorables’ when it is so glaring that there is nothing honorable left in these ROGUES. The whole land is sick and full of bad leaders and my take is that our beloved country has been CURSED with her oil.

    • Oleku

      Relax until Yorubas are left to sustain themselves via cocoa then you will know the importance of oil–whether it’s cursed or not–the Mohammedans may survive with groundnut pyramids under sharia ideas from Mali–how do you lazy lots survive–I laugh at Yorubas when they insults Jona–you will be worse hit by the time we go with our oil–Nigeria is going down the pit and lets see who copes–some of you are being deceive by Ayatollah the former straggler in Britain that Lagos get oil-Ijaw man GEJ can go with his oil o jare–we shall see sha

  • Henk

    Let all in government be rated paid as a civil servant-pay, right from the presidency down to the governors. Then, you won’t see any heat in Nigeria politics. Then even corruption will die off naturally.

    • kingbaabu

      Who will implement this, is it the same government signing the big checks for themselves? Let’s get serious here.

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