The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja, which on Monday, acquitted a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye of N2bn money laundering charge brought against him and others by the Commission. In dismissing the charge, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the Commission failed to establish the charges against the defendants.
However, EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren in a statement said the trial judge erred by overlooking the evidence of the 21 witnesses called by the prosecution in the course of the trial as well as the confessional statement of one of the defendants, Osarenkhoe Afe. He said that the Commission has therefore decided to challenge the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
Oronsaye’s corruption trial commenced in 2015 when he was arraigned alongside the Managing Director of Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Osarenkhoe Afe and three companies – Cluster Logistic Limited; Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants had between 2010 and 2011 used some firms to divert public funds through procurement fraud. The EFCC equally accused Orosanye and the others of using inflated biometrics enrolment contracts, collective allowances, and other schemes to siphon money from accounts containing pensioners’ funds.
But Justice Ekwo held that the anti-graft agency failed to supply the court, with ingredients that could establish the alleged corruption charges against Oronsaye.