Fraud Allegation: Court Releases Oronsaye Pending Bail Hearing
The Former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye, who was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja over his alleged involvement in a 1.2 billion naira graft while he held sway as Head of the Civil Service, has regained temporary freedom till July 21 when his bail application would be heard.
In the charge filed before the court, the former top bureaucrat, alongside two other persons, Osarenkhoe Afe and Frederick Hamilton Global Services Limited, allegedly siphoned about N1.2 billion from the federal treasury during his tenure as Head of the Civil Service.
Oronsaye and his co-accused persons pleaded not guilty to the 24-count charge, bordering on money laundering and corruption slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the prosecutor, Aliyu Yusuf, urged the court to set a date to commence trial and that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.
Lawyer to the former Head of Service, Mr Kanu Agabi, however prayed the trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, to grant his client bail on liberal terms.
Counsel to the other accused persons, Oluwole Aladedoye, who aligned with the submissions of the counsel to the 1st accused person, held that section 32(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 allows an oral application for bail and prayed the court to admit his clients to bail as, according to him, the offences for which they are charged are bailable.
In response, the Prosecution Counsel opposed the application for bail, saying that he was served with the application in the court and that he needs time, under the law to respond.
In his ruling, Justice Kolawole ordered that the accused persons should be released to their counsel, who must write an undertaking to produce them in court on July 21, when their bail application will be argued.
The anti-graft agency alleged that one of the accomplices in the alleged crime, Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, who is now at large, all connived to commit procurement fraud in the biometric enrollment job purportedly awarded to Innovative Solutions Limited without following due process.
The court thereafter slated October 28 and 29, November 3 and 5 and December 2, 2015 for trial of the accused persons.