Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday said
it intended to amend the theft charge preferred against Mamman Ali, son
of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Ahmadu Ali.
EFCC counsel, Mr Francis Usani, made this known at the resumed trial
of the younger Ali before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High
Court in Ikeja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused was charged to court for an alleged N4.4 billion fuel subsidy fraud.
He was arraigned on July 26 alongside Christian Taylor, a citizen of
Sierra Leone, and Nasaman Oil Services on a three-count charge of
conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences.
Usani said the amended charge would enable the commission to join
another oil marketer, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, as a co-defendant in the
He said:"The matter was adjourned till today for commencement of
trial but we cannot proceed today because some very important issues
have come up.
``We feel that it will help the court in doing justice to this matter.
``I want to inform the court that we intend to file an amended charge
to enable one Oluwaseun Ogunbambo to be joined as a co-defendant.
``Some of the transactions the defendants were charged with were
actually orchestrated by him, and so we feel it will be in the interest
of justice to try him with them".
Usani therefore urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the EFCC file the amended charge.
Counsel to the defendants, Mr Toyin Pinheiro (SAN), did not oppose
the call for adjournment, but maintained that his clients were innocent
of the charge.
"Since the prosecution's excuse for an adjournment is for a just cause, we will not be opposing.
"Their plan to amend the charge shows that the defendants have no case to answer", Pinheiro said.
The judge adjourned the matter to Nov. 12 for trial.
NAN reports that the defendants were charged with fraudulently
obtaining N4.4 billion from the Federal Government between Jan. and
The EFCC alleged that they obtained the money as subsidy payments
from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of
30.5million litres of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted
bail in the sum of N20 million each with two sureties in like sum.
Meanwhile, Ogunbambo is also facing a similar charge before Onigbanjo
for fraudulently obtaining N980 million fuel subsidy funds from the