EFCC re-arraigns Oronsaye over alleged N2billion fraud

EFCC re-arraigns Oronsaye over alleged N2billion fraud
May 18 20:34 2016

The Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission on
Wednesday re-arraigned a former
Head of Service of the Federation,
Stephen Oronsaye, at an Abuja Federal
High Court, on an
amended 35-count charge
bordering on stealing and
obtaining money by false
pretence.

In the amended charge dated
November 2, 2015, Oronsaye
was charged alongside
Osarenkhoe Afe, Fedrick Hamilton
Global Services Limited, Cluster
Logistic Limited, Kangolo
Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and
Drew Investment & Construction
Company Limited.

Messrs. Oronsaye and Afe, who is
the managing director of Fredrick
Hamilton Global Services Limited,
were present in court. However,
the other defendants were absent.
Prosecuting counsel, Leke
Atolagbe, while citing Section 478
of the Administration of Criminal
Justice Act, 2015, said, “We urge
your lordship to enter a plea of
not guilty for the defendants who
are not represented in court, in
order that the trial can proceed.”

Counsel to Mr. Oronsaye, Joe Agbi,
SAN, raised no objections to the
application of the prosecution,
neither did Oluwole Aladedoye,
counsel to Messrs. Afe and
Fedrick Hamilton Global Services
Limited.

The trial judge, while acceding to
the application of the prosecution,
ruled that: “In the absence of the
fourth, fifth and sixth defendants,
Section 478 of the Administration
of Criminal Justice Act 2015 shall
be applied to each of them, except
if it is later shown that they were
not served with the amended
charges, in the interest of justice.”

Count one of the charges reads:
“That you Stephen Oronsaye,
Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina
(now at large) Osarenkhoe Afe
and Fredrick Hamilton Global
Services Limited on or about 2nd
July, 2010 in Abuja, collaborated
in disguising genuine nature of
the sum of N161,472,000 derived from an
illegal act to wit: conducting procurement
fraud by means of fraudulent and corrupt act
on the contract extension of biometric
enrolment purportedly awarded to Innovative
Solutions Limited by the Office of the Head of
Service of the Federation without following
due process and you thereby committed an
offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (b) of
the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,
2004.”

Another count reads: “That you Stephen
Oronsaye and Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina
(now at large) between April and May 2010 in
Abuja, collaborated in disguising genuine
nature an aggregate sum of N131,038,425
derived from an illegal act to wit; conducting
procurement fraud by means of fraudulent
and corrupt act on the contract of biometric
enrolment purportedly awarded to Moshfad
Enterprises by the Office of the Head of
Service of the Federation without following
due process and you thereby committed an
offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (b) of
the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,
2004.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges as
they were read to them.
Prosecution counsel,
Atolagbe asked the court for a date for
commencement of trial. He also notified the
court that the prosecution had 22 witnesses it
intended to present in court.

The defence counsel expressed readiness for
the commencement of the trial. They further
applied that Justice Gabriel Kolawole allow their
clients to continue with the earlier bail
granted them on July 21, 2015.

The prosecution did not raise any objections
to the oral application.
Since there was no objection to the
application, the trial judge acceded to the
request and further adjourned to June 9, 2016
for “commencement of judicial trial”.
Mr. Oronsaye first appeared before Justice
Kolawole on July 13, 2015, where he was
confronted with a 25-count charge, to which
along with his co-defendants, he pleaded not
guilty.

The trial judge had fixed February 16,
2016 for them to enter their plea for the
amended charges.
The case file, was however, afterwards
transferred to Justice J. T. Tsoho of a Federal
High Court, Abuja.

Presiding over the case for the first time on
February 16, 2016, he adjourned to March 1,
2016 for them to take their plea on the
amended charges.

On the set day, however, rather than begin the
proceedings, he simply said: “It has been
realized that the case came to me in error, and
I’ve been instructed that it should be returned
to Justice Kolawole who started it; he should
continue where he stopped. I wish you the
best of luck.”

Making clarification on the return of the file
to him, Justice Kolawole explained that “the
Chief Judge wanted to redistribute cases to
new judges transferred to the Federal High
Court, in order to decongest the court, but this
case file of Oronsaye was taken in error to
Justice Tsoho. This explanation becomes
necessary so the public will not be wondering
why such back and forth movement.