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Again, EFCC apprehended Orasanye over N240m fraud

By The Rainbow
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, over an alleged N240m fraud.

Oronsaye, who is already being prosecuted by the EFCC on 24 counts of money laundering, was arrested again on Tuesday based on fresh evidence.

The former civil service boss was alleged to have abused his position as the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force and that he obtained the sum of N240m from the Central Bank of Nigeria in the guise of assistance to the committee without the knowledge of other committee members.

The EFCC alleged that Oronsaye proceeded to convert the said sum to his personal use.

A source at the anti-graft agency said Oronsaye was arrested around 4pm, adding that the commission would charge him to court this week.

The source disclosed that two charges had been filed against the retired civil servant at the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

The charges read, “Mr. Steve Oronsaye, on or about June 12, 2013, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory whilst being the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force and in such a capacity entrusted with certain property to wit: the sum of N90m, committed a breach of trust in respect of the said sum by converting it to your personal use through the investment of the said sum in Access Bank Plc's Bankers Acceptance for a period of 90 days at 9.0 per cent interest rate in violation of the extant financial regulations

“Mr. Steve Oronsaye, on or about December 30, 2014, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory whilst being the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force and in such a capacity entrusted with certain property to wit: the sum of N100m, committed a breach of trust in respect of the said sum by converting it to your personal use through the investment of the said sum of N90m in Access Bank Plc's Bankers Acceptance for a period of 90 days at 12.0 per cent interest rate in violation of the extant financial regulations.”

However, the spokesperson for Oronsaye, Mr. Walter Duru, described the case as a witch-hunt.

He, however, said Oronsaye had been released by the EFCC.

He said Oronsaye was not arrested but that he simply honoured an invitation.

He said, “Time will tell because he will surely be vindicated. This is a witch-hunt and this is because of his role in the passage of some very critical bills, especially the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Centre Bill which seeks to grant operational autonomy to the NFIU which is still under the control of the EFCC.

“The Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill 2016 is coming up for a second reading at the Senate on Wednesday (today). Is it coincidental that he was invited by the EFCC a day ahead of the hearing? Is it also coincidental that the last time he was invited was a day before the Senate hearing on the NFIU Bill? So, they are just trying to intimidate him.

“Ask the EFCC why its former chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, who is accused of diverting trillions of naira, has not been brought to book? The current anti-corruption war is a big joke and the EFCC stinks.

PUNCH