ORONSAYE: EFCC Case Linked To Pension Reform Backlash

The trial of a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), Mr Stephen Osagiede Oronsaye, for alleged corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been situated within the context of a backlash arising from the pension reform he superintended while in office.

A source familiar with the case, at the weekend, claimed that Oronsaye may have been roped into the pension scam he uncovered as HCSF, following the report of a presidential committee on civil service reform which recommended the merger  of the EFCC with similar government agencies.

Oronsaye headed the presidential committee.

The source described the charges against the former HCSF as arising from a vendetta.
To justify the vendetta claim, the source explained that at the outset  of the trial of the suspects in the pension scam in 2012 with the arraignment of a former Director of the Pension Unit in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF), his former deputy and 30 others on 134-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, and corruption before Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court,  Abuja, Oronsaye’s name never came up.

“However, when the EFCC saw in Oronsaye ‘an enemy’, it chose to ‘revisit’ the statement of one of the suspect whom it alleged had additional information to provide.

It is that additional information from the suspects who escaped mysteriously from the fortress of the EFCC that the agency is using to try Oronsaye”, the source stated.

“The EFCC has listed companies as having benefitted from the ‘pension scam’ involving Oronsaye, yet the companies are not being put on trial. Why is the EFCC forcing people to ‘confess’ they had dealings with Oronsaye?

“If the EFCC is relying, in part, on the ‘audit report’ from the  Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, OAUGF, from 2005-2010, where are Oronsaye’s predecessors in all of this?”

The EFCC leadership was said to have vowed to deal with Oronsaye over the civil service reform presidential committee report “for daring to recommend the merger of the EFCC with similar agencies”.

Oronsaye was also said to have been seen as embarking on  a  mission to cripple the EFCC ‘financially’ by pushing for the independence of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

This no doubt infuriated the Lamorde-led EFCC, which also accused the Oronsaye-led President Committee on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of undermining the Office of the then Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation by recommending that the secretariat of the NFIU be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with best practices from around other global partners”, the source added. (Vanguard )
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