24th July, 2012
Ayorinde Oluokun/ Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC said it has concluded arrangements to prosecute the first batch 18 suspects implicated in the oil subsidy fraud.
The source however assured P.M. NEWS that the suspects, comprising six oil companies and 11 individuals, will be docked in Lagos courts “very soon”.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the ‘very soon’ will be tomorrow.
NAN said the EFCC will arraign some oil marketers and their companies for their alleged complicity in the fuel subsidy fraud before Justices Adeniyi Onigbanjo and Habeeb Abiru of the Ikeja High Courts.
Those to be arraigned before Justice Onigbanjo are Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Abdulai Alao and Eterna Oil and Gas Ltd.
According to the charge sheet dated July 19, 2012, the accused persons are facing a 9-count charge bothering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretences, forgery and use of false documents.
The EFCC alleged that they had on April 28, 2011 in Lagos, fraudulently obtained N676.9 million from the Federal Government, purporting same to be payment accruing to Eterna Oil under the Petroleum Support Fund.
The commission also accused the marketers of falsifying claims to have purchased 33, 288, 388 litres of Premium Motoring Spirits (PMS) from Mercury Energy Trading AS and imported to Nigeria through Ex-MT Fulmer, Ex-MT Emirates Star and Ex-MT Panther.
Alao will also face another 7-count charge bothering on obtaining money under false pretences, forgery and use of false documents before Abiru.
He is accused of fraudulently obtaining N2.5 billion in December 2010 from the Federal Government as subsidy payments for supplying 13,364,284 and 20,014,627 litres of PMS from Ex- MT Gavros and Ex-MT Nippon Princess.
The quartet of Walter Wagbatsuma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakunde Babafemi and Ezekiel Ejide, alongside their company — Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd — will also be arraigned before Abiru.
They are also facing a 9-count charge bothering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretext, forgery and use of false documents.
The EFCC, in the charge sheet signed by Mrs O.O. Fatunde, alleged that the accused persons fraudulently obtained over N1.9 billion from the Federal Government under the Petroleum Support Fund from July to December 2010.
All the accused persons were also alleged to have forged bills of lading and other vital documents which they allegedly used in perpetrating the fraud.
The anti-graft agency said their alleged offences contravened Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.
The offences also contravened Sections 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003, it added.
All the companies involved, as contained in a statement by Wilson Uwajaren, spokesperson for the anti graft agency are: Nasaman Oil Services; Eternal Oil and Gas Plc; Ontario Oil & Gas Plc; Nadabo Energy Limited; Pacific Silver Line Limited, Axenergy Limited and Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited.
The 11 individuals involved in the scam are: Mamman Nasir Ali; Christian Taylor; Mahmud Tukur; Ochonogor Alex; Walter Wagbatsoma; Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi; Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer; Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele; Abubakar Ali Peters; Jude Agube Abalaka, Abdulahi Alao and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo.
Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele is director of the accounting firm, Akintola Williams Deliote while Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer is a staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulating Agency, PPPRA.
Nasaman Oil Services; Mamman Nasir and Christian Taylor are to face charges bordering on obtaining N4, 460, 130, 797. 94 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Million, One Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira, Ninety Four Kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria under false pretence.
The sum is alleged to have been fraudulently obtained as subsidy payments from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 30.5million litres of Premium Motor Spirit from SEATAC Petroleum Limited of British Virgin Islands.
In the same vein, the anti-graft agency will equally prosecute Abdulahi Alao and Axenergy Limited for allegedly obtaining the sum of N2, 640, 141, 707.75 (Two Billion, Six Hundred and Forty Million; One Hundred and Forty One Thousand; Seven Hundred and Seven Naira, Seventy Five Kobo) being payments received from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 33.3 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
Others include Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex; Abdulahi Alao and Eternal Oil And Gas Plc who will be docked for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1, 899, 238, 946. 02( One Billion, Eight Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Six Naira, Two Kobo) from the Petroleum support Fund for a purported importation of 80.3million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
Also, Nadabo Energy Limited, Abubakar Ali Peters, Jude Agube Abalaka and Pacific Silver Line Limited are to be prosecuted for allegedly obtaining the sum of N1, 464, 961, 978.24 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Eight Naira, Twenty- Four Kobo ), being payments fraudulently received from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 19.4million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
Walter Wagbatsoma; Adaoha Ugo -Ngadi; Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer; Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele and Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited will be arraigned for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1, 959, 377, 542, .63 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Sixty Three Kobo) from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 39.2 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
Also, Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo are to be docked for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N979,653,110.20 ( Nine Hundred and Seventy Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, One Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira, Twenty Eight Kobo), from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 33, 627, 84 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
“The 20 suspects are among the over 140 individuals and organisations involved in the on- going investigations into the subsidy payments by the EFCC.
“More suspects will be arraigned periodically as the investigation progresses”, said EFCC
“This investigation is massive and extensive; and the Commission wishes to reassure Nigerians that every effort will be made to bring all those who defrauded the country in the guise of subsidy for imported fuel to book”, the anti graft agency assured Nigerians.