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Bawa’s cross- examination ends as court adjourns N761.6m alleged oil fraud suit

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
10 May 2022   |   4:06 am
The trial of Abubakar Ali Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, over a 21-count charge bordering on forgery and subsidy fraud to the tune of N761, 628,993.84 before Justice S.S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court...

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The trial of Abubakar Ali Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, over a 21-count charge bordering on forgery and subsidy fraud to the tune of N761, 628,993.84 before Justice S.S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday, witnessed conclusion of cross-examination of the Executive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The defendants are being charged for offences bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, diversion of Federal Government funds and forgery to the tune of N761, 628,993.84.

Peters had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges when he was arraigned on October 7, 2015, thereby prompting the commencement of his trial.

Bawa, in his examination-in-chief, told the court that “investigations by the anti-graft agency into petitions received from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and some concerned Nigerians in 2015 alleging fraud in the subsidy regime uncovered forged documents allegedly used by the defendants to claim subsidy funds for 12,000MT of PMS, whereas only about 6,000 MT were imported.”

Subsequently, on December 16, 2021, the defence team, led by E.O. Isiramen, began cross-examination of the witness. EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said Bawa, who is testifying as the second witness, concluded his cross-examination yesterday.

Under cross-examination by Isiramen, the EFCC boss stressed: “Our findings and evidence are still that you cannot discharge what you didn’t import.

“And our investigation, including documents from the banks, Staco Insurance Plc, PPPRA and others indicated that the defendant supplied about 6,000 MT of PMS and not 12,000 MT as claimed by the defendant.”

Bawa attested that investigation by the EFCC revealed that those who signed the available documents “did not do the right thing from our findings.”

He added: “However, we were looking at the bigger picture in the interest of justice and concluded that the defendant was the beneficiary of the alleged compromise.”

The EFCC chief executive told the court that, “we have started making recoveries from the defendant and we have a statement in which he put in writing that he is willing to pay back the excess money he received from government.” The case, was subsequently, adjourned till May 10, 2022 for continuation of trial.