A prosecution witness in the ongoing corruption trial of a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsoye, on Wednesday recounted how the retired civil servant made millions of naira from an account meant for the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Tax Force (PCFATF).
Mr. Oronsoye is facing a two-count charge of fraud and of obtaining by false pretence the sum of N190 million, part of a N240million grant received from the Federal Government for the committee, while he was its chairman.
The witness, Olubunmi Ojoko, a staff of Access Bank, who was the second to testify against Mr. Oronsaye at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, said she took over the management of Mr. Oronsaye’s account in 2012 and received a call from him in September of that year informing her of his desire to open an account for the committee.
According to Ms. Ojoko, she proceeded to Mr. Oronsaye’s residence in the Asokoro area of Abuja where she was handed documents for the said account.
The documents, according to the witness, include Access Bank account opening form, account opening request by the committee (signed by Mr. Oronsaye), his passport photograph, copies of his international passport, as well as documents relating to the setting up of the committee, signed by the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“I scrutinized the documents and discovered that the Attorney General of the Federation’s approval was not included, so I asked him for it and he said it wasn’t necessary,” Ms. Ojoko said.
“I asked for the AGF’s approval because when opening a government account, you need AGF’s approval. But since he stated that it wasn’t necessary, I took him by his word.”
Ms. Ojoko further stated that after opening the account, various sums of money were lodged into it on the instruction of Mr. Oronsaye who asked that the monies be deposited for intervals of 90 days at varying interest rates.
“About four inflows came into the account. The total inflow was N285 million (N50million, N90million, N45million and N100million).”
Explaining how the money was used to generate the said interest, Ms. Ojoko said the second lodgement of N90 million was put in a fixed deposit account for 90 days at nine per cent interest rate.
“Upon maturity, the N45 million had come in and it was fixed for another 90 days,” she further said.
“Upon maturity, they were usually rolled over and the interest credited into Mr. Oronsaye’s current account.”
The witness said N150million was withdrawn through cheques, before the sum of N163.5 million was taken to the Treasury Single account.
Ms. Ojoko also told the court that from the time the first lodgement was made till 2015, some withdrawals were also made for various beneficiaries at the instance of Mr. Oronsaye.
The trial judge, Olasumbo Goodluck, adjourned sitting till Thursday, April 14 to allow the defence study the evidence.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...