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Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Trial Till December 20

Adeshola Soyele  
Updated December 8, 2021
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A file photo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja

 

The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has admitted more evidence against an oil marketer, Abubakar Ali Peters, and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, for an alleged N1.4 billion oil subsidy fraud.

Before admitting the documents on Wednesday, Justice Christopher Balogun delivered a ruling on their admissibility.

At the last sitting of the court on November 16, the prosecuting EFCC counsel, Seidu Atteh, had tendered the documents through the fifth prosecution witness, EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The documents included correspondences between the EFCC and Enterprise Bank (then Spring Bank) as well as Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank).

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The defence counsel, Osagie Isiramen, had objected to their admissibility.

In his ruling, Justice Balogun dismissed the objection raised by the defence and admitted the documents as exhibits against the defendants.

After this, the EFCC Chairman continued with his testimony.

Led in evidence by Atteh, he told the court that after receiving the responses from Enterprise Bank, the EFCC sent a letter of investigation activities to the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

“We furnished them with our findings for them to compute the subsidy that ought to have been paid to the defendant. They acknowledged receipt of the EFCC letter and later responded in writing,” he said.

Bawa identified the EFCC letter sent to the PPPRA and the certified true copies of the responses from the PPPRA, with its attached documents.

With no objections from the defence, the EFFC counsel tendered the documents and they were admitted in evidence as exhibits against the defendants.

The court also admitted in evidence certain statements made to the EFCC by the defendant as well as a booklet, which he had earlier submitted to the PPPRA for the purpose of receiving subsidy funds.

A nine-page document prepared by Bawa and detailing what transpired in the particular transaction was also admitted in evidence.

Giving a summary of the EFCC investigation, Bawa said, “The defendant imported into the country 6,505,140 litres of PMS equivalent to 4,850.962MT.

“Looking at the landing costs, he ought to have been paid N487,560,246.15, but he was paid and collected N1,465,961,978.24 for claiming to have imported 19,488,992 litres of PMS, which shows that he allegedly defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N978,401,732.09.”

Justice Balogun thereafter adjourned till December 20 and 21, 2021 for the continuation of the trial.