Judge`s absence stalls Oronsaye’s trial

Stephen Oronsaye

Stephen Oronsaye

Absence of Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the FCT High Court on Friday stalled the alleged breach of trust trial against, Stephen Oronsaye, a former Head of Service of the Federation.

Sources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the judge was away for other pressing official engagement.

The court had previous set down five clear days, June 24, July 8, Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 for the hearing of the case.

Oronsaye was alleged to have deposited money meant for the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force which he chaired into a fixed bond in Access bank known only to him.

At the last sitting, Hamma-Adama Bello, an officer of the EFCC and a member of the team that investigated the matter testified as the sixth prosecution witness.

He told the told the court that no other member of the committee headed by Oronsaye was aware of this second account.

Bello told the court that the rule was that ministries or agencies could not invest fund without the approval from the office of the Account General of the Federation.

The witness told the court that the committee received N164 million as their request and it was paid into the committee’s official account with the Zenith bank by the presidency.
He said that Oronsaye also presented the same request to Central Bank of Nigeria and was it was granted.

Bello said also the account officer at Access Bank raised questions on number of signatory and letter of approval from office of the AGF when Oronsaye wanted to open the account .

He said that the rule was that at least there must be two signatories to such account but Oronsaye told them that they should go ahead.

The witness told the court that there were 26 investments into the Access bank account, four in-flows of N50 million, N90 million, N45 million and N100 million.

Bello said that N45 million was from the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) and it came in nine million naira each time .

He said the rule was that any idle money in the ministries or agencies should be invested in treasury bills.

According to him, only AGF can give approval for opening of government accounts.

He went further to say that Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force was not a permanent committee and should not have idle funds.



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