Witness unravel how Oronsaye paid N67.5million to unknown persons | Nigeria Today
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Witness unravel how Oronsaye paid N67.5million to unknown persons

Jalal Arabi, permanent secretary, state house and secretary of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force (PCFATF), has told Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, how Steve Oronsaye, chairman of the PCFATF paid a total sum of N67.56 million to persons who were neither members of the committee.

At the resumption of trial before the court, Arabi while being led in evidence by Ufom Uket, the prosecution counsel, told the court that: “I am suppose to keep records of the meetings and convene meetings at the instruction of the chairman, I keep records of expenditures and I also do correspondences, and records of expenditure.
When asked about the account being operated by the committee with Zenith Bank, he said that: ” the chairman is the other signatory to the account and the signatories approve money for expenditures. The account was operated on joint signatures; both of us must sign before money is withdrawn “.
The account which was funded in three trenches from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Presidency and Central Bank of Nigeria, was said to have been opened after the necessary documentations including pre requisites of the committee was done.
He however said, since 2009, he only got to know about another account being operated by Oronsaye at Access Bank, with the same name as the committee’s account with Zenith Bank, to which Oronsaye was a sole signatory to on July 2015, having been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), purview to a petition written to it on activities of the committee.
According to the PW 4, the procedure for payment is that, “when activities are generated, a justification memo is raised by me, then discussed with the chairman and on approval by him, the job is executed. When the job is executed, the bank pays”.
” I only got to know about the certain account in July 2015, but I can confirm that at intervals, the chairman handles some of the activities”, he noted.
But when asked about the payments of N5million and N9million to one Friday Ololo, N3.5million, N9million, N9million, N7million and N800,000 to another Sunday Oge, N6million to Olalekan Ajayi, N500,000 and N900,000 to Yaro Mohammed, N5million and N11.5million to one Ezenneka, from the Access Bank account, Arabi said that the persons were never members of the committee and neither did they execute any job to warrant the payments.
However, on the N400,000 paid to one Egully Ikechukwu, he averred that he was aware that the said Ikechukwu attends meetings of the committee once in a while, but he was not aware if he did any job which would necessitate such payments, even though he was aware of the payment, he was not aware of the existence of the Access Bank account.
He further told the court that he did not know the source of funds into the disputed Access Bank account, and that the committee pays its staff from the known Zenith Bank account and whatever the chairman pays them.
Earlier, the prosecuting witness 2, Olubunmi Ojoko, account officer with Access bank during her cross examination by Kanu Agabi SAN, defence counsel, she said that sometime in 2013, the CBN placed restrictions on cash withdrawals from banks but, the restriction was limited to some specific government agencies, due to the nature of some of their work.
Oronsaye is being prosecuted on a 2-count charge of abuse of office and obtaining by false pretence preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
As the Chairman of the PCFATF, Oronsaye was alleged to have converted the total sum of N190million belonging to the Committee to personal use by fixing the said sum in personal account in one of the new generation banks.
At the non availability of Prosecution witness 5, the trial court adjourned the matter to May 19 and 20, 2016.
SEYI ANJORIN

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This post was syndicated from BusinessDay : News you can trust. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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