Witness reveals how ex-HoS allegedly siphoned public fund

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As the trial of former Head of Service of the Federation, Steven Oronsoye continues, a Prosecuting Witness, Salami Adesoka narrated how his company and that of others were used to siphon money from the government.

Adesoka on Wednesday, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja said in 2015 he was instructed by the then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the HoS to submit business account names.

He disclosed that he submitted two: Obanlado Nigeria Limited and Fatitek Ventures, belonging to his friends and they got credit alerts afterwards in huge sums of money but was later asked by the permanent secretary to deliver the monies to his office in cash and was paid a commission of over N500,000; likewise the account owners for the transactions.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Oronsanye alongside Osarenkhoe Afe, managing director, Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, and one other defendant in a 49-count charge of money laundering, to the tune of N2 billion, involving biometric enrolment contract scams.

Adesoka, a civil servant in the office of HoS, stated that he and the account owners were surprised to receive half a million naira for not supplying any goods or services.

He further disclosed that he later witnessed the permanent secretary and the personal assistant to the HoS stuff the alleged huge sums of monies into “Ghana-must-go” bags for delivery to Oronsanye.

“In 2015, when I was invited by EFCC in respect to the payment received from some companies, I informed the anti-graft agency that I was asked to bring some business account names by the then permanent secretary. l then submitted the names of some enterprises from two friends namely: Obanlado Nigeria Limited and Fatitek Ventures.

“Shortly after, my friends and I got credit alerts. We were asked by the permanent secretary to bring the monies to the office in cash and get commission of over N500,000 each. We were quite surprised as we did not render any goods or services but in one day we were paid half a million naira for not doing anything, not one contract did we carry out, my lord.

“I also witnessed my boss, the permanent secretary and the personal assistant to the HoS pack the alleged huge sums of money into Ghana-must-go bags in a bid to deliver it to the defendant,” the witness stated.

Testifying before him as prosecution witness 15, (PW15) was Babafemi Yaya, a compliance officer with Wema Bank Plc, who had furnished the EFCC details of the statement of account, the account opening documents and certificate of identification in respect to Mr Oronsanye’s accounts with the bank. He stated that the defendants were party to the account and transactions of N14 million and N720 million respectively for the biometric enrolment and that the sums credited into the accounts were later paid to one Salami Adesoka (PW16) and others.

He further revealed that the monies were later transferred to the account of the former HoS.

Justice Ekwo admitted the documents from Wema Bank in evidence, marked “Exhibit PW15 A1-A28”.

It would be recalled that on December 2, 2019, Adesegun Timothy, prosecution witness 14 (PW14), who is a Union Bank branch manager, testified that in Exhibit P14, the statement of account from Union Bank Plc, Page 405 indicated that on August 27, 2010, there was five cash beneficiaries of some monetary transactions, which he said included, Obanlado Nigeria Enterprises, credited with over N925million, Fatitek Ventures, N140 million and Salami Kareem Adesoka, who was paid N185million.

Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until January 27, 29 and 30, 2020, for continuation of trial and granted the defendant permission to travel but must be back at least two days before the adjourned date.

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