The former head of the federation’s civil service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, was acquitted of all allegations of money laundering by the Federal High Court in Abuja, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced its intention to appeal.
In a decision handed down earlier on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo exonerated the defendant of all charges due to a lack of prosecution evidence.
He declared that the prosecution had not presented sufficient evidence to support the defendant’s conviction.
The judge ruled that none of the 21 witnesses the EFCC called could be relied upon to support the defendants’ guilt.
However, in a statement issued by its Head of Media of Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission argued that the judge erred by overlooking the evidence of the 21 witnesses called by the prosecution during the trial as well as the confessional statement of one of the defendants, Afe.
The statement read: “The EFCC will appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja, which today (Monday) acquitted a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye of the N2billion money laundering charge brought against him and others by the commission.
“In dismissing the charge, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the commission failed to establish the charges against the defendants.
“However, the commission believes the trial judge erred by overlooking the evidence of the 21 witnesses called by the prosecution in the course of the trial as well as the confessional statement of one of the defendants, Osarenkhoe Afe. It has therefore decided to challenge the judgment at the Court of Appeal.”
The EFCC had in 2015 arraigned Oronsaye alongside the Managing Director of Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Mr. Osarenkhoe Afe, and three companies – Cluster Logistic Limited; Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited, and Drew Investment & Construction Company Limited for money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.