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N1.1bn subsidy-fraud: EFCC re-arraigns 3 oil marketers


oil barrel. Image source Telegraph UK

oil barrel. Image source Telegraph UK

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned three oil marketers— Opeyemi Ajuyah, Abdullahi Alao and Olarenwaju Olalusi– over an alleged N1.1 billion fuel-subsidy fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants were charged before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court.

They were re-arraigned on an amended eight-count charge alongside their companies— Majope Investment Ltd., and Axenergy Ltd.

NAN also reports that the defendants had been previously arraigned on Oct.10, 2012 on a nine-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of fake documents.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail then.

However, on Friday, the EFCC counsel, Mr Seidu Atteh, informed the court that the prosecution had amended the charges.

Atteh, therefore, asked the court to direct the defendants to retake their pleas and his request was granted.

He said the defendants had fraudulently obtained N1.1 billion from the Federal Government between January 2011 and April 2012.

Atteh said the money was for subsidy payments from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 15 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The defendants were also alleged to have forged a bill of lading, cargo manifest and other documents which they used in facilitating the fraud.

The alleged offences were said to contravene Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.

The offences also violated Sections 363(a) and 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 363(1) stipulates that the offender on conviction is liable to three years’ imprisonment.

The defendants , however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following the arraignment, Atteh sought the leave of the court to recall five prosecution witnesses who had previously testified in the trial.

The judge granted his request and adjourned the matter till Oct.20 for trial.

  • emmanuel kalu

    ok first of all, were this company still allowed to be part of the govt oil marketers. because it would make common sense that if you are indicted for fraud in regards to the subdizies, you should not be allowed to be involved, until you are cleared. why did it take this long to bring this people to justice. corruption in nigeria is a result of the system and allow the means to steal out there. if we are to continue to import fuel a better simply system should be in place. the federal govt should have contractor with a few refineries for the purchase of the fuel and the shipping . once it is at port, then govt hires a few transporter to transport it to depots. the fuel is sold at cost to the federal govt with a little margin for profit. simple and easy.

  • honesty NO1

    EFCC stop window dressing and acting up. The entire old EFCC must be dismantled. You have been a shadow of yourself for too long