Oronsaye’s trial begins Oct 28
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.