EFCC Says Maina’s N2.7bn Fraud Approved By Oronsaye

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THE judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja which convicted a Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to six years imprisonment was on Tuesday in Abuja admitted as exhibit against a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye.

The judgment was tendered in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of Mr Oronsaye on money laundering charges. At Tuesday’s resumed trial, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, tendered the judgment through the prosecution’s 20th witness in the trial, Ms Rukayat Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, an EFCC operative, who has been giving her testimony in the trial in the last one year, told the court that the EFCC had succeeded in convicting Maina and sentencing him to six years in prison for N2.7 billion pension fraud. She said investigation reveal that the money was in the pension fund before it was approved for release by Mr Oronsaye.

She added that Maina opened five fictitious accounts in a commercial bank and used them to siphon the money from the pension fund for his personal use. “Our investigation revealed that Abdulrasheed Maina took advantage of the fact that his brother worked with one of the commercial banks and opened the accounts in contravention of provisions of the Money Laundering Act.

“The accounts were opened without carrying out ‘know your customer,’ they were operated through SMS and emails and our investigations showed that although they had fictitious names, they were operated by Abdulrasheed Maina even though his name and picture did not appear on any of the accounts.

“We were able to link them to him through his signature on his extra-judicial statement, the phone number used to receive alerts and some payments from those accounts were traced to his real account,” Ibrahim said.

The witness also said investigation revealed that on July 15, 2010, over N101 million was transferred to Mr Oronsaye’s account. Ibrahim said when the EFCC asked for an explanation; Mr Oronsaye gave an unclear explanation and brought a letter from the Presidency that the money was sent to the Presidency. She further told the court that the letter did not represent virement of the money.

Hearing on the matter continues on Thursday, February 3, 2022 for cross-examination of the witness.

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