The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has accused a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, of approving the N2.7bn pension fraud laundered by the convicted Maina’s convicted a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Recall that Maina was sentenced to six years imprisonment in November 2021 after Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja found him guilty on all the 12 counts levelled against him and his company, Common Input Property and Investment Limited.
However, the case has now been admitted as an exhibit against Oronsaye in the ongoing money laundering charges which resumed on Tuesday, according to The PUNCH.
The prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, tendered the judgment through the prosecution’s 20th witness in the trial, Rukayat Ibrahim, an EFCC operative who has been giving her testimony in the trial in the last one year.
Ibrahim who testified before Justice Inyang Ekwo at the Abuja High Court claimed that the money was in the pension fund and an investigation revealed that the money was approved by Oronsaye.
Ibrahim added that Maina opened five fictitious accounts in a commercial bank and used them to siphon the money from the pension fund for his personal use.
She said, “Our investigation revealed that Abdulrasheed Maina took advantage of the fact that his brother worked with one of the commercial banks and opened the accounts in contravention to provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
“The accounts were opened without carrying out ‘know your customer,’ they were operated through SMS and emails and our investigations showed that although they had fictitious names, they were operated by Abdulrasheed Maina even though his name and picture did not appear on any of the accounts.
“We were able to link them to him through his signature on his extra-judicial statement, the phone number used to receive alerts and some payments from those accounts were traced to his real account.”
Ibrahim revealed that the commission, through an investigation, discovered that over N101 million was transferred to Oronsaye’s account on July 15, 2010.
According to her, Oronsaye gave an unclear explanation and brought a letter from the Presidency that the money was sent to the Presidency when the commission queried him over the fund.
Unfortunately, the letter did not represent the virement of the money, Ibrahim told the court before the matter was adjourned till February 3 for cross-examination of the witness.