Oron­saye’s trial be­gins Oct 28

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

AFed­eral High Court sit­ting in Abuja has fixed the trial of for­mer Head of Ser­vice, Steve Oron­saye for Oc­to­ber 28, 2015.

At the re­sumed hear­ing yesterday, the trial judge ini­tially de­clined to con­tinue with the hear­ing of the mat­ter due to the com­plaints raised by the pros­e­cu­tion coun­sel, Ro­timi Ja­cobs (SAN) at the last ad­journed date.

It would be re­called that Ja­cobs had com­plained that the court granted bail to Oron­saye even be­fore his bail ap­pli­ca­tion was ar­gued by his (Oron­saye) lawyer, Joe Agi (SAN).

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) had ar­raigned Oron­saye and oth­ers for al­leged fraud and money laun­der­ing of­fences in­volv­ing N1.2bil­lion.

Another ac­cused per­son ar­raigned along with one of the firm’s through which the money was al­legedly si­phoned from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s ac­count Fredrick Hamil­ton Global Ser­vices Lim­ited - was the firm’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Osarenkhoe Afe, among oth­ers.

The ac­cused per­sons had all pleaded not guilty to the 24 counts pre­ferred against them when they ap­peared be­fore Jus­tice Ko­la­wole in July, 2015.

Af­ter sev­eral ap­peals from both the pros­e­cu­tion and de­fense coun­sel; re­stat­ing their con­fi­dence in the trial judge to do jus­tice in the suit, Jus­tice Ko­la­wole agreed to hear the mat­ter.

Con­se­quently, he ad­journed the mat­ter till Oc­to­ber 28 and 29 for ac­cel­er­ated hear­ing.

It would be re­called that shortly af­ter their ar­raign­ment; Jus­tice Ko­la­wole re­leased them, pend­ing the hear­ing of their bail ap­pli­ca­tion sched­uled for July 21 which he granted based on “self recog­ni­tion.”

But the judge or­dered that their re­lease would be ef­fec­tive upon fil­ing of a writ­ten un­der­tak­ing by the de­fence coun­sel within 48 hours and an as­sur­ance to pro­duce the ac­cused per­sons in court at the next hear­ing date.

The ac­cused per­sons al­legedly col­lab­o­rated in de­fraud­ing the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to the tune of N118,992,201.6 un­der the guise of pay­ing the money in tranches for the con­tract of bio­met­ric data cap­ture pro­ject be­tween March 2010 and De­cem­ber 2011.

The fraud was al­legedly per­pe­trated through the award and pay­ment for fake con­tracts to nine com­pa­nies in­clud­ing, In­no­va­tive So­lu­tions, Fredrick Hamil­ton Global Ser­vices, Xangee Tech­nolo­gies Lim­ited, Fatideck Ven­tures, Oba­lando Nige­ria En­ter­prises, Mosh­fad En­ter­prises and Fes­bee Global Re­sources Lim­ited.

Other com­pa­nies are Jolance In­te­grated Con­cept Lim­ited and M.OF In­vest­ment Lim­ited.

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