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EFCC boss, Bawa testifies in subsidy case

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Abdulrasheed Bawa. Photo: CORRUPTIONREPORTER

Newly appointed Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, yesterday, appeared before an Ikeja High Court to testify as a prosecution witness in an alleged N1.4billion oil subsidy fraud case.

Bawa, 40, who was confirmed as the chairman of the anti-graft agency by the Senate on February 24, resumed office on March 5.

Specifically, he was in court to testify in the case involving Nadabo Energy and its chairman, Abubakar Peters, one of the cases of alleged fraud that he investigated when he was an operative of the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency is prosecuting the defendants for allegedly obtaining N1.4billion from the Federal Government as oil subsidy using forged documents.

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The defendants are also being accused of inflating the quantity of petrol purportedly supplied to the Federal Government to 14,000 metric tonnes. Led in evidence by the lead EFCC prosecutor, Mr Seidu Atteh, Bawa narrated to the court how he investigated the case.

He said he analysed some email correspondences and found out that the defendants, contrary to their claims, took only approximately 6million litres of petrol on board the mother vessel, MT Evriduk into their own chartered vessel, MT St Vanessa.

“Emails further confirmed that the same quantity of petrol (6million litres) was discharged at Port Harcourt. The email also informed us that one Mr Jideofor Akpan was the agent of the vessel (MT St Vanessa).

“We invited the said Akpan and during the course of our interview with him, he confirmed to us (EFCC) that the first defendant (Nadabo Energy) through the second defendant (Peters) chartered the vessel (MT St Vanessa) and paid for it.

“My lord he volunteered the statement to us and also submitted several documents to us,” Bawa said.

The EFCC boss said that during the interview, he presented to Akpan the purported shipping documents that the defendants submitted to the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for payment of subsidy.

“We presented it to him to confirm to us whether or not the vessel for which he was agent had anything to do with the vessel called MT American Express.

“ MT American Express is the vessel the defendant claimed to have given the product to his own vessel.

“My Lord, Akpan confirmed to us that MT St Vanessa had nothing to do with MT American Express, but rather St Vanessa loaded product from MT Evriduk,” he said.

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