Lagos - Two oil marketers, Mahmud Tuker and Alex Ochonogor, have failed in their bid to have the charges of their alleged involvement
in a fraudulent N1,8 billion fuel subsidy fraud case dropped.
Lagos Judge Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo ruled on Friday the duo had a case to answer hence the application to quash the charges was premature.
The judge said some of the issues raised by their counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, particularly the sufficiency of evidence in the charge against the defendants, could only be raised after the prosecution closes its case.
"It is the law that the court cannot delve into substantive issues at the interlocutory stage. Section 260 (2) of the ACJL provides that an
objection to the sufficiency of the proof of evidence shall not be raised until the closure of the prosecution's case. The provision is a mandatory requirement which renders the application premature," Lawal-Akapo said.
Tuker, Ochonogor and their company -Eterna Plc- are standing trial alongside another marketer, Abdullahi Alao.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that they obtained the money from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 80,3 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
The matter was adjourned till 15 September for commencement of trial.
- CAJ News