Two witnesses in the trial of Stephen Oronsaye, former Head of Service of the Federation, alleged that a brother of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, opened three accounts where ”unspecified amounts” were lodged in Fidelity Bank Plc.
Mr Oronsaye is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for offences bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence.
He is alleged to have been complicit in several contract awards during his tenure as HoS, and is being charged along with Osarenkhoe Afe on an amended 49-count charge.
Testifying while being led in evidence by EFCC counsel, led by Oluwaleke Atolagbe before Justice Inyang Ekwo, of the Federal High Court, the witnesses, both staff members of Fidelity, alleged that Khalid Biu, opened three private accounts using different names.
Danjuma Zubairu, a senior manager with the bank, said Biu opened three private accounts with names: Cluster Logistics, Abdullahi Faizal, and Nafisatu Aliyu for Maina in 2011.
Mr Zubairu alleged that aside the three, Maina also operated two other accounts with names: Kongolo and Drew Investment.
The accounts, he said, where the ones the EFCC investigated.
“My Lord, before leaving the bank in 2013, Biu was the one who managed the three accounts, namely Cluster Logistics, Abdullahi Faizal, and Nafisatu Aliyu.
“Biu was also in charge of giving approval for all withdrawals.
“I met Maina one time he came to the bank to access his safe deposit box.
“The first box was size 489 before he requested for a bigger size and was later upgraded to size 604.” he said.
At this point, Atolagbe. tendered Fidelity bank’s statement of accounts in respect to these accounts in court which was admitted into evidence as Pw7(a).
Also testifying, Oluwatoyin Meseke, a Marketer and Assistant Banking Executive with Fidelity bank, told the court that Biu opened the three accounts for Maina in 2011.
“My lord, Biu told me that the accounts belonged to Maina.
“He made me understand that Maina was the owner of the three accounts,’’ the witness alleged.
Mr Meseke told the court that there were many financial transactions on the account.
” I also managed the accounts at a time that Biu left the bank. Maina was the sole signatory to the accounts.
“Maina usually orders for cash to be delivered to him and the cheques would come in later,” Meseke alleged.
During examination in chief, he had said that Maina had once requested that he should withdraw N6.5 million in cash and take to Oronsaye at his house.
But after being shown some cheques in court during cross-examination by Oronsaye’s counsel, Mr Okeanya-Ineh, SAN, and asked to identify the cheque for N6.5million.
The witness said that as at Jan.23, 2013, the opening balance in one of the accounts was N201 million.
After the testimonies, Justice Ekwo adjourned hearing until June 24, for continuation of hearing.