Lagos - The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned two directors of oil marketing companies in an Abuja High Court over fuel subsidy fraud.
The two, Saminu Rabiu and Jubril Rowaye, directors of Alminnur Resources Ltd. and Brilla Energy Ltd. respectively, were arraigned before Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
Rabiu and Rowaye were arraigned on 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud.
The two were accused of fraudulently using their companies to obtain N1.5 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund as payment for the importation of 10,000 tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.
The commission alleged that Rabiu and Rowaye, at various times, forged different bills of lading for PMS that was not supplied in a bid to claim the subsidy on fuel.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges.
After taking their plea, counsel to Rabiu, Mr Reuben Nnah, filed an application for bail.
Nnah urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.
In another bail application, counsel to Rowaye, Mr Richard Oluyede, prayed the court to admit his client to bail.
Oluyede said that his client before the arraignment had been on administrative bail granted him by EFCC.
The EFCC counsel, Sylvanus Tahir ,who did not oppose the bail application, however, prayed the court to impose conditions that would ensure that the accused attend their trial.
In her ruling, Banjoko granted bail to the two oil marketers.
Banjoko admitted them to bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge ordered that each of the sureties must be resident in Abuja and must depose to an affidavit of means, showing that they could meet the bail bond.
She said that one of the sureties for each of the accused must own landed property in Abuja while the other sureties must be directors in the civil service.
The judge ordered that the sureties must produce three years tax clearance certificates and that the documents must be verified by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
She also ordered the accused to deposit their international passports and other travelling documents with the chief registrar of the court.
``If the accused do not meet the bail conditions, they will be remanded in Kuje Prison, until such a time that they do,'' she ordered.
She adjourned the case to Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 for the EFCC to open trial.