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EFCC granted leave to arraign subsidy suspects

09 October 2012, 13:41

Abuja -  An Abuja High Court on Tuesday granted the EFCC leave to arraign Saminu Rabiu and Jubril Rowaye, over their alleged complicity in the fuel subsidy scam.

Rabiu and Rowaye are to stand trial on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy and fraud.

The two were alleged to have fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.5 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund as payment for the purported importation of 10,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko also granted permission to the anti graft agency to charge them alongside their companies, Alminnur Resources Limited and Brila Energy Limited.

The EFCC had, through its counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, filed an application for leave to prefer a 17-count criminal charge against the duo, under section 185 (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Tahir said the application was based on the provisions of Section 185(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

``I hereby apply for leave to prefer a criminal charge against the above named suspects.

``Attached herewith are the following documents: a copy of the charge in respect of which leave is sought, and a verifying affidavit.

``Others are names and addresses of the witnesses, statements of the witnesses and those of the two suspects and other documentary evidences,” he said.

In her ruling, Banjoko granted the application and said that from the proof of evidence presented by the EFCC, Rabiu and Rowaye are to be arraigned on Oct. 17.

After the ruling, a mild drama ensued as Rabiu claimed to have hearing problems.

His counsel, Ms Blessing Omoague, told the court that her client had hearing challenges and would need a hearing aid in order to comprehend the charges.

Omoague pleaded with the court, in the interest of justice, to adjourn to a later date for the arraignment of her client in order that he could be provided with a hearing aid.

Besides, she submitted that her client had not been served with a copy of the charges.

The counsel added that her client needs to read and understand the charges, so that he can prepare for his trial.

Justice Banjoko, who agreed with the counsel to the first accused, ordered the EFCC to duly serve the suspect.

Banjoko also ordered the suspect's counsel to ensure that her client gets a hearing aid before the next adjourned date.

She ordered the suspects to report to the EFCC daily until their arraignment on Oct. 17.



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