Oronsanye: Unspecified Amounts Transferred into Contingency Account, Says Witness

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Ms Chidinma Okpocha, a witness in the trial of Steven Oronsaye, a former Head of Service (HOS), said on Wednesday in the Federal High Court Abuja that unspecified amounts were  transferred into a contingency account domiciled in Unity Bank.

Oronsaye is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offences bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.

He is alleged to have been complicit in several contract awards during his tenure as HoS, and is being charged along with Osarenkhoe Afe on an amended 35-count charge.

Okpocha, a relationship officer with Unity Bank and EFCC’s prosecution witness number five, said that the funds came from the Pension Transfer Fund.

The witness said this during cross examination by Oronsaye’s counsel, Mr Okeanya-Ineh (SAN), that she wasn’t familiar with the history of the account.

”It is a government account and the only signatory I know is the HOS,” she alleged.

Prior to all these, she was handed a document by Okeanya-Ineh to read in part titled: “Approval For Transfer Of Funds To Contingent Account From The Office Of The Head Of Service Of The Federation.’’

The document was later tendered in court by the defence and admitted into evidence.

Earlier, the witness was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel,  Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, who tendered Unity Bank’s 46 pages documents marked as PW 5(a) and admitted into evidence.

The witness had narrated how financial transactions occurred in various pages of the document in mainly 2009 and 2010.

She narrated how monies were paid to some people through cheques and cash withdrawals running into millions of naira.

The witness also explained during examination in chief, how page 20 of the document showed when Oronsaye made a change in the signatory to one of the accounts under investigation.

The signatory to one of the accounts was changed from Sadiq Mohammed to Stephen Oronsaye dated November 22, 1999.

She said that the implication of this was that from that date the signatory became that of Oronsaye.

Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned hearing in continuation of examination until May 23.

Oronsaye’s trial: Witness says unspecific amount transferred to contingency account