The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has grilled a former Head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, over his alleged involvement in the diversion of N6.2bn pension fund.A top source at the EFCC, who disclosed this to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said Oronsaye was grilled following a statement made by a deputy Director, Pension Account in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Phina Chidi.According to the source, Chidi linked Oronsaye to the diversion of N6.2bn pension.Chidi, a former Director of Pension in the Office of the Head of Service, Dr. Sani Shaibu, and eight others have been charged to court by the EFCC over a pension fund scamThe source, who spoke with our correspondent, said that the EFCC was making arrangement to perfect the process of charging the former Head of Service and other indicted officers to court after conclusion of ongoing investigations.
It was stated that the missing funds put at over N6.2bn was diverted through fictitious contracts for biometric enrolment and computer accessories and consumable which were not supplied.
In her statement, Chidi was said to have informed EFCC interrogators that she was given a mandate to shop for contractors who could make returns to the former Head of Service in the award of fictitious contracts which cost the country N5bn.
The deputy director, who is being prosecuted in relation with the pension scam, was said to have alleged further that the returns were made to Oronsaye through Shuaibu.
The controversial contracts were awarded between January 2009 and November 2010 when Oronsaye was Head of Service.
She said that the proceeds from the phoney contracts were paid into the accounts of two new generation banks before they were withdrawn by Shuaibu and taken to Oronsaye.
Chidi was said to have made the damning revelations in a recent encounter with a team of EFCC investigators.
“In addition to my statement on January 11, 2011, I wish to state as follows: that I was asked by Dr. Shuaibu to shop for company names to execute our contracts, proceeds of which should be given to Mr. Stephen Oronsaye the then Head of Service,” she was quoted as having said.
The EFCC source stated further that the indicted officers of the Head of Service exploited an initial contract of N63m for biometric data capture awarded to Innovative Solutions and Project Limited, said to have been handpicked by Oronsaye to siphon N705,368,245.00 pension fund.
The source said that while only Innovative Solutions and Project Limited was awarded a contract by the office of the Head of Service, five other companies and three individuals profited from the missing pension funds to the tune of N705,368,245.00.
The EFCC source said that the companies said to be owned by cronies of the former Head of Service are Frederick Hamilton Global Limited which got N119, 398,500.00, Xangee Technologies, N153,146,719.00; Fatidek Venture N30,056,000.00 and Obanlado Enterprises which was N96,765,400.00.
The EFCC operative said that the former Head of Service had denied knowledge of the existence of the companies involved in the pension fraud to interrogators from the anti-graft agency on December 7, 2013.
When contacted by our correspondent, the Head of Media and Public Relations of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that it was true that the former Head of Service was grilled by operatives of the commission on December 7, 2013 in relation with the missing funds and he made a statement.
Uwujaren stated however that Oronsaye was not the only person linked to the missing N6.2bn.
He said that some other officers of the Head of service and cronies were also involved in the scam.
“It is true that he was interrogated by our operatives on December 7, 2013 and he made a statement.
“He was not the only one; there are other people and cronies involved in this issue.”
Source ; Punch,