Stephen Orosanye

… EFCC closes case after 21 witnesses. Oronsaye to open defence March 9

The last witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mr Umar Abba Tilde in the ongoing trial of former Head of Service, Stephen Oronsaye, admitted on Thursday in Abuja that Oronsaye was at no time a signatory to the Federal Pension Accounts where alleged fraud was perpetrated.

Aba-Tilde, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank PLC told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he could not ascertain whether Oronsaye ever made an endorsement for withdrawal from the accounts.

The banker who testified for the anti-graft agency revealed that two withdrawals, N161, 472, 00 million and N28, 375, 000 were transferred from a pension account to a company on July 6, and July 7, 2010 respectively.


He was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe as the 21st prosecution witness (pw21) during which he confirmed that mandates relating to the pension accounts were submitted by his bank to the EFCC in January 2020 based on request.

The witness further told the court that a letter of August. 24, 2010 signed by Oronsaye as the then Head of Service of the Federation HoSF instructed the bank that all e-payments must henceforth have final endorsement from the office.

However, under cross examination by Mr Joe Agi (SAN), lead counsel to Oronsaye, the witness said that the former HOS did not sign mandate for the two transfers made in 2010.

In addition, he informed Justice Inyang Ekwo that the defendant was not a signatory to the pension accounts adding that Dr. Shuiab Sani Teidi, Mrs Eu Chide, Mohammed Kaltung Ahmed, Hassan Mohammed and Attah Danladi were the signatories to the accounts.

Answering a question, the witness also admitted that he was in Kano branch of the bank when the two transfers were made and would not know if Oronsaye ever made any endorsement.

At the end of his evidence, the prosecuting counsel announced the closure of the EFCC’s case against Oronsaye after calling 21 witnesses and tendering several documents.

Counsel to Oronsaye, Agi applied for an adjournment to enable the defendant open his defence with only two witnesses.

Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed March 9 and 10 for Oronsaye to open his defence. (PR Nigeria)

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