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Fuel subsidy fraud: EFCC arraigns 3 more

31 July 2012, 07:33

 Ikeja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned two more oil marketers and an oil company before an Ikeja High Court in Lagos over the alleged fuel subsidy scam.

Arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo were Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, Habila Theck and Fargo Petroleum and Gas Limited.

The defendants were docked before the court on a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of false documents.

One Olugbenga Adesanya, who was accused by the EFCC of conspiring with the defendants could, however, not be arraigned because he is still at large.

The defendants and company are among 17 oil marketers and seven oil companies indicted in the fuel subsidy fraud and slated for prosecution by the anti-graft agency.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that on Feb. 10, the defendants and the oil company fraudulently obtained N980 million from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Jacobs alleged that the accused persons falsely claimed that the aforesaid money represented subsidy accrued to them from the importation of 13,627,084 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The anti-graft prosecutor said that the PMS was purportedly purchased from one Seatac Petroleum Limited and imported into Nigeria through MT Diplomat Ex MT Milleura.

EFCC also alleged that the defendants on Oct. 14, in Lagos, forged a document entitled Certificate of Origin, Port of Loading Antwerp Belgium so as to facilitate their obtaining the aforesaid amount.

Jacobs added that the defendants falsely claimed that the document was issued by Seatac Petroleum Limited.

The EFCC said that the alleged offences contravened Sections 1, (sub-sections 1,2,3) and 8 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The alleged offences, the agency further stated, contradicted Sections 363 and 364 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Babajide Koku, asked for a short adjournment for the court to hear the bail applications.

Onigbanjo, however held that Ogunbambo and Theck be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter to Aug. 1, for argument of bail application.



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