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The Former head of service of the federation, Mr. Steven Oronsaye at the federal high court sitting in Abuja, has denied any involvement in the operation of 66 bank accounts said to have been operated to siphon pension funds.
Mr. Oronsaye who opened his defense in the money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court that as the head of service of the Federation at the time, he knew nothing about the alleged 66 accounts, as they were not part of his functions.
Led in defense by his lead counsel, Chief Joe Agi, the former head of service told justice Inyang Ekwo that he ran into trouble with EFCC when he appeared before the National Assembly in defense of an executive bill on EFCC at a point when the commission objected to the bill.
Mr. Oronsaye said contrary to EFCC’s allegation against him, only staff of the accountant general of the federation had power to sign payment mandate and denied ever transferring any money from Union bank to Unity bank.
On the alleged abuse of the threshold of contracts sum, Oronsaye explained that there was a presidential approval adding that EFCC’s investigation into the issue was not thorough, noting that if a proper investigation had been conducted it would have revealed a presidential approval.
Meanwhile Justice Ekwo fixed May 24,25 and 26 for continuation of defense and for EFCC to cross examine the witness.
Oronsaye is being tried, alongside others, for allegedly using inflated biometrics enrolment contracts, collective allowances and other schemes to siphon money from accounts in which pensioners funds were kept.