A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Rukkayat Ibrahim, on Wednesday in Abuja admitted that the offences under which the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina was charged and jailed were committed between 2011 and 2017.
The witness admitted that a former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Orasanye retired in November 2010 before Maina’s offences were perpetrated.
She made the clarifications during cross-examination by Orosanye’s counsel, Mr Ade Okeiya Inneh SAN, during the ongoing trial of the erstwhile HoSF.
The EFCC had on Tuesday tendered in evidence, a copy of the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, which convicted and sentenced Maina to 8 years imprisonment.
But the defence lawyers held that the judgment has no probative value to the case since Orosanye could not have made approvals from retirement.
Answering questions, the 20th witness (PW20) admitted that count one of the charge upon which Maina was convicted covered a period between 2011 and 2017 whereas Oronsaye left service in 2010.
Also, she said the offences contained in counts two and three of the charge were committed between 2011 and 2017, while in count four, Maina, she said, committed the offence between 2015 and 2018 as well as other counts.
When asked whether Orosanye was in office when all these offences were committed by Maina, the judge interrupted, saying, “it is a matter of address by counsel in the matter.
On the over N131 million that was transferred to the State House account, the witness insisted that due process was not followed because according to her, the money was meant for the pension fund.
Since the money was appropriated, the witness said it was only through virement that such an amount could have been moved from one department to the other.
When a letter (exhibit CL5B) dated June 17, 2010, written by Oronsanye to former President Goodluck Jonathan, pertaining to contingency account was shown to her, the witness said, “I cannot confirm the authenticity of this letter”.
However, she confirmed it was an approval from the presidency.
Also, under cross-examination, the witness when shown a document from Unity bank pertaining to the State House Contingency account, she insisted that her earlier statement was that Orosanye was operating the account after he had been deployed as Head of Service of the Federation.
She further stated the EFCC investigation did not reveal that Orosanye inserted names of ghost workers in the biometric data capturing.
More so, the witness admitted that the nationwide biometric enrolment was extended, but explained that the extension did not cover procurement of hardware for the exercise.
The trial continues on February 3 before Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo.
Maina’s N2.7bn pension fraud committed after Orosanye’s retirement – EFCC witness admits