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EXCLUSIVE: EFCC quizzes former Head of Service, Oronsaye over multi-billion naira corruption allegation

A former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsanye, is currently being interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations of corruption, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report.

The former HOS summoned Wednesday morning to the EFCC headquarters in Wuse 2, where he is being interrogated.

It is not clear as at the time of publishing this report whether Mr. Oronsaye would be allowed to go home after his interrogation or detained.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Mr. Oronsaye is with the anti-graft agency.

Mr. Oronsanye was appointed Head of the Civil Service of the Federation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in June 2009 and retired in November 16, 2010.

However, in September 2014, the office of the Auditor General of the Federation released a damning report that indicted him of N123billion alleged fraud.

The 169-page report, titled “Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions”, found Mr. Oronsaye guilty of allegedly presiding over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.

The audit by the Auditor General arose from the work of a Special Audit Team constituted by the Federal Government in May 2011 to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounts of the Civilian Pension Department domiciled in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, uncovered monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick-backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Mr. Oronsaye served as Head of Service.

The Auditor General’s office, insiders say, completed its assignment and submitted its report to government in 2012. But no action has been taken to bring all those indicted to book.

While allegations of massive corruption hung around his neck, Mr. Oronsaye remained very close to then President, Goodluck Jonathan.

He also continued to occupy some of the most important positions in the country. He is, for over 10 years now, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force [FATF] and was board member of both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] and the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN], the two public organisations widely considered the most lucrative in the country.

Even more scams

Investigation by this newspaper however suggested that there are some corruption fronts that both the Auditor General of the Federation and the EFCC are yet to cover.

For instance, highly placed sources at the presidency and the office of the Head of Service showed PREMIUM TIMES documents detailing how Mr. Oronsaye, on June 30, 2010, transferred N113million from pension account No; 4501040012292 with Union Bank Plc to a Unity Bank account named Contingency.

The said Contingency account turned out to be a State House Account in the name of Principal Private Secretary to the President, which Mr. Oronsaye continued to operate many years after he was removed as private secretary to the president.

Further checks showed that a certain Shola Aiyedogbon withdrew substantial part of the illegally transferred funds for onward delivery to Mr. Oronsaye. It was only on January 27, 2011 that Unity Bank alerted the Permanent Secretary, State House, that Mr. Oronsaye was still operating the account before he finally let go.

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