Subsidy Fraud: Witness Denies Receiving $620.000 From Farouk Lawan

The Chairman of the House Of Representatives Committee on Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba, has denied any connection with the alleged $620,000 bribe which the then Chairman of the House’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan, was said to have received from billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, in 2012.

At the resumed trial of Farouk Lawan in Abuja, Jagaba denied claims by Lawan that he handed over the alleged bribe received from Otedola to him with a covering.

Lawan was accused of accepting the bribe in exchange for the removal of Otedola’s company’s name, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the list of firms indicted by the house committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

Although the prosecutor was unavailable for comments, lawyer to Lawan faulted the decision of the court to refuse his application seeking to recall a witness for further cross-examination.

N1.1b Fuel Subsidy Fraud: Court Dismisses Oil Marketer’s Applications

A Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja has dismissed three applications filed by an oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao, who is standing trial over his alleged involvement in a N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu threw out Alao’s applications for lack of merit and abuse of court processes.

The first of the three dismissed applications had prayed the court to set aside its October 21 ruling that dismissed defendant’s previous application to quash the charges.

Alao’s second application had prayed the court to stay further proceedings on the trial, pending the determination of his appeal against an earlier ruling of the lower court at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.

The last application by the defendant had urged the court to refer the matter to the Court of Appeal for determination.

However, in her ruling, Justice Okunnu struck out the applications on the grounds that the prayers being sought for had been previously determined by the Supreme Court in other matters.

According to the judge, Section 277 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State states that “an appeal for stay of proceedings shall not be entertained until judgment is delivered in a criminal matter”.

She further held that the applications “are a roundabout attempt to stall proceedings and an abuse of the process of the court”.

The court has adjourned the matter till February 27, 2014 for continuation of trial.

Alao Collected Subsidy For Importing 15,000 Instead Of 4,000Metric Tonnes Of Fuel

The trial on N1.1billion fuel subsidy fraud against Abdullahi Alao, son of Ibadan based business man, Arisekola Alao, resumed on Wednesday and the Court heard that the young oil magnate was paid subsidy for importing 15,000metrc tonnes of fuel while he delivered just 4,000Metric Tonnes.

Abdullahi Alao and two other oil marketers Opeyemi Ajuyah and Olanrewaju Olalusi are facing trial on charges of forging documents to perpetrate the fuel subsidy fraud.

A prosecution witness, Mr Mohammed Adedapo, an inspector of petroleum products Q and Q Control Marine Services Limited testified against the three oil marketers at the continuation of trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.

The marketers and their firms -Majope Investment Limited and Axenergy Limited were charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The agency alleged that Alao and his co-defendants had imported about 4,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products but had obtained subsidy payment for 15,000 metric tonnes.

The witness who was led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Mr Francis Usani, said Q and Q was contracted by Oando Oil and Gas PLC to inspect the quantity of products brought in by a vessel, MT Brave on behalf of Majope Investment Limited.

Adedapo said the discharge was done at Lister Jetty in Apapa between January 22 and 23, 2011, adding that the vessel brought 15,000 metric tonnes.

He said about 4,000 metric tonnes was discharged into the facility while the remaining quantity was taken away by the vessel.

The witness said he wrote a protest letter to the Captain of the ship as a result of the discrepancy witnessed in the transaction.

Adedapo said he issued a Shore Tank Certificate to the marketers indicating that only 4,000 metric tonnes was discharged in the facility.

Under cross-examination by the defendants counsel, Mr Wale Akoni (SAN) and Mr Oludare Falana, he maintained that he did not sign any document indicating that 15,000 metric tonnes was discharged.

Following his denial, Falana ordered him to sign on a blank paper for comparison of the signatures.

The paper was admitted by the court as Exhibit P6.

The matter was then adjourned till July 24 for continuation of trial.

Stalled Case

In another case, the trial of three other oil marketers, Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu and Ngozi Ekeoma was stalled.

The marketers and their firms – Anosyke Group of Companies and Dell Energy Limited are facing trial before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo for an alleged N1.5 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Anosike’s counsel, Mr Layi Babatunde (SAN), informed the court that he was contemplating his withdrawal from the matter over some recent developments which he did not disclose to the court.

He therefore asked the court for an adjournment to enable him discuss further with his client.

The Judge adjourned the matter till Sept. 18 for mention.