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Oronsaye wants N190m fraud charges dismissed as court fixes April 5 for judgment

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Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday fixed April 5 for judgment in 27-count fraud charges brought against a former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr.Stephen Oronsaye, by the Federal Government.

The Judge fixed the date after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Oronsaye and others adopted their final addresses for and against the case.

Oronsaye was arraigned alongside the Managing Director of Fedrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Mr. Osarenkhoe Afe, on 49 count charges but the charges were later reduced to 22.

Equally charged before the court by the EFCC included three companies, Cluster Logistic Limited, Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited.

It was alleged that the defendants had, between 2010 and 2011, used the firms and diverted public funds through procurement fraud.

While adopting his final brief of arguments through his counsel, Mr Ade Okeanya-inneh SAN, the former Head of Service of the Federation, asked the court to dismiss the entire charges against him.

Oronsaye specifically requested Justice Ekwo to discharge and acquit him from the charges on grounds of lack of evidence and merit.

He asserted that the charges against him were worthless because they were not based or predicated on any known facts or evidence to sustain them.

He recalled that EFCC, on its own, in the course of the trial, withdrew 22 charges when faced with the reality that the charges had no substance.

However, the EFCC, represented by Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, prayed the Court to convict the defendants based on the evidence adduced by 21 witnesses who testified in the matter.

Atolagbe predicated his request for conviction on the confession of the second defendant in the trial.
Justice Ekwo, after taking arguments, fixed April 5 to deliver his judgment.

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