A Federal High Court in Abuja has discharged and acquitted former Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, of the N190 million fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a judgement on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to warrant Oronsaye’s conviction.
Oronsaye was arraigned alongside Osarenkhoe Afe, Managing Director of Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, on a 49-count charge.
But the charges were later amended and reduced to 22 counts after the anti-graft commission separated the parts involving a former head of the Presidential Pension Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was then at large.
Maina was later charged separately by EFCC and was subsequently convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment in November 2021.
Three companies—Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited—were also joined in the charge preferred against Oronsaye by EFCC.
EFCC alleged that the defendants had, between 2010 and 2011, used the firms to divert public funds through procurement fraud.
EFCC further accused Orosanye and the others of using inflated biometric enrollment contracts, collective allowances, and other schemes to syphon money from accounts containing pensioners’ funds.