A witness in the ongoing trial of former chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Tax Force, Stephen Oronsaye, has explained how the former Head of Service made over N1.2 billion for himself through funds received for the implementation of the committee’s functions.
The witness, Hamma Adama, who is the sixth to have been led in evidence by the prosecution, the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, told the court that Mr. Oronsaye also made duplicated requests for funds to execute the objectives of the PCFTF.
Mr. Adama stated, Monday, that millions of naira were made as interest rates with funds deposited to an account supposedly belonging to the committee, which were later withdrawn by Mr. Oronsaye’s protégés.
He said the account recieved inflows on four occasions comprising, N90 million on May 21, 2013; N50 million on October 5 2013; N100 million on December 24, 2014 and another N45 million which was paid in five tenches from the office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Mr. Adama said investigations from the bank statements revealed that these funds were used to generate intrest rates ranging between 9 per cent to 9.5 per cent, in 90 days.
He added that the accrued interest was further re-invested into the same account creating fresh credits.
According to Mr. Adama, over N1. 2 billion was withdrawn from the account, by persons working under the supervision of Mr. Oronsaye, which were not accounted for.
Mr. Adama further stated that the account in question was an unofficial account solely owned and run by Mr. Oronsaye, in the name of PCFTF.
“We discovered a letter from Access Bank, which was written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, introducing an entirely new account, which was only known to the chairman of the committee.
“We noticed individuals who had no business with the PCFTF withdrawing from the account, like a certain Sunday oge who made about 31 cash withdarawals. Most of them were N150 000. In few occasions the amount was N30 million.
“Another person known as Friday Ololo also withdrew several times from the account to the tune of about N17 million. Most of them were 150 000. In few occassions the amount was N30 million ” said Mr. Adama.
Mr. Oronsaye acknowledged receipt of the sums of money from Mr. Ololo, but failed to bring him to confirm the information provided by the bank documents, said Mr. Adama.
He noted that in 2013, a budget of N164, 525 000 was approved for the committee from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, but that Mr. Oronsaye still made a request for the same amount from the presidency.
The trial judge, Olasumbo Goodluck, stated her intention to adjourn sitting for another date, and the prosecution witness, Ofem Uket, asked to submit an additional document, before the open court.
Counsel to the Defence, Kanu Agabi, objected to this request and Mrs. Goodluck ruled that it was too late in the day to admit the said document as evidence.
The case was adjourned till June 24, July 8, September 28 and September 29 for hearing.
Mr. Oronsaye is facing a two-count charge of alleged abuse of office and obtaining by false pretence.
The former Head of Service, HoS, is alleged to have used the account to receive N190 million, part of a N240million grant for the committee, received from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and converted same for personal use.
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