By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
A former Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mr Steven Oronsaye, on Thursday at the Federal High Court in Abuja faulted the mode adopted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the investigation of the alleged malpractices brought agaist him in relation to federal pensions.
Oronsaye who was cross-examined by EFCC lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, claimed that EFCC came into some wrong conclusions in the ways and manners the allegations against him were investigated.
Specifically, the former Head of Service explained that EFCC chose to pick only payment vouchers rather than whole files in the contract award, hence the anti-graft agency could not arrive at just conclusions.
He claimed that the award of contract and running of government was a process involving files moving from one place to another adding that EFCC ought to have worked on entire files rather than picking only payment vouchers to conduct investigation on.
He insisted before Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo that as Head of Service, he was not a signatory to the pension account of the federal government.
Oronsaye told the court that his signature appeared in some payment vouchers as endorser and not as an authorising signatory as erroneously concluded by the EFCC.
The former Head of Service while answering a question said that movement of money from pension account to contingency account was at the instance of former President Goodluck Jonathan because the account belonged to the Presidency.
When asked to name signatories to the Contingency account in the Presidency, Oronsaye insisted that it was a classified account that belonged to the President and it was only the President who knew the signatories to the account.
He added that the account was operated in a manner approved by the Presidency.
“If you are talking of my involvement in the movement of money from pension account to contigency account, I can tell you that I am not a signatory to the pension account.
“I only acted on the instructions of the President.”
On his endorser signature, Oronsaye maintained that as Head of Service, he had oversight functions on everything in the office as long as such oversight function was not for personal benefits.
Answering a question on the threshold of money that could be withdrawn by the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Head of Service, Oronsaye clarified that the Federal Government policy put a routine expenditure for a Permanent Secretary at N5million but explained that such threshold was different from payments for government contracts.
Meanwhile, further hearing in the fraud charge against Oronsaye has been fixed for October 7 by Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo.