The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the ruling upholding a no-case submission filed by a former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, on the seven charges of criminal breach of trust levelled against him by the commission.
Mr. Orosanye, a former Chairman of Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force, was alleged to have received N190m, part of a N240m grant for the committee by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and converted same to personal use.
The prosecution had after calling six witnesses, closed its case and set the stage for the former Head of Service to enter his defence.
The EFCC said rather than entering his defence, Oronsaye, through his counsel, Kanu Agabi, on December 9, 2016, filed a no-case submission, urging the court to strike out the charges on the grounds that they were defective and lacked essential elements required to prosecute the defendant.
“Agabi stated that the prosecution neither specified the amount that was entrusted to the defendant, nor the mandate of the committee he chaired. The learned silk contended that there was no proven offence by the prosecution to warrant the defendant to enter defence.
“In his counter argument, the prosecuting counsel, Offem Uket, told the court that the prosecution had proved its case. As stated by him, the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendant as to warrant his defence.
“Uket believed that it was not right to bring up the issue of imperfection of charges at this stage, as it was against the provisions of Sections 220 and 221 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA), 2015. He, therefore, urged the court to refuse the no-case submission by the defence,” a statement by the anti-graft stated.
In his ruling on the application on Tuesday at the FCT High Court, Abuja, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck held that “the prosecution has not put anything before the court to justify the charges for which the defendant is being tried”.
Consequently, the judge discharged the accused of the seven charges against him.