Oronsaye distances self from 66 pension accounts

A former Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Steven Oronsaye, Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, denied any involvement in the operations of 66 bank accounts said to have been operated to siphon pension funds.

While opening his defence in the money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the former Head of Service told the court that he did not know anything about the alleged 66 accounts because they are not part of his functions.

He told Justice Inyang Ekwo that he needed not know the number of accounts operated by the federal government because he was never the Accountant General of the Federation.

Led in defence by his lead counsel, Mr Joe Agi, SAN, he alleged that the investigation carried out by EFCC in a petition against him was poor and shoddy, adding that if a thorough investigation had been conducted, charges against him would have been unnecessary.

Oronsaye told Justice Ekwo that he ran into trouble of EFCC when he appeared before a committee of the National Assembly and defended an Executive Bill on EFCC at a point when the EFCC itself objected to the Executive Bill.

He said after his successful defense of the bill, he was invited by EFCC and that on December 7. 2013, he honored the anti graft agency’s invitation during which he was confronted with all manners of allegations.

He added that as at the time of his defense, EFCC has never shown him a copy of the alleged petition against him, let alone avail him opportunity of going through the document.

Oronsaye recalled that he had headed five special presidential committees and that throughout his tenure of office, he never signed any payment mandate or have any dealings with the Bureau of Public Procurement.

He punctured charges against him and said contrary to EFCC allegation, only staff of the Accountant General of the Federation have powers to sign payment mandate.

He denied ever transferring any money from Union Bank to Unity Bank as alleged by EFCC.