Suspected Oil Subsidy Thieves Face Criminal Charges

Tunde Ogunshakin

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has adjourned till  Thursday, a N3.2 billion oil subsidy criminal case filed against two oil companies Geacan Energy Ltd, Petroleum Brokers Ltd and their Managing Directors, Chinyerem Anike Nwese and Ogundipe Olaniran.

When the matter was mentioned Wednesday, Dr Tochi Nwogu and Ayoade Olumofin, counsel representing the accused companies and their directors, objected to the arraignment of the accused persons on the ground that the charge filed before the court against them is defective as it contains the names of two other accused companies, Lister Oil Ltd and Oando Plc, which have been struck out.

They argued that the prosecutor failed to have filed an amended charge to reflect the current accused persons.

However, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Tony Dania, in his argeument, told the court that based on oral argument, he has applied that the name of the two companies be struck out and the court graciously acceded to his request by striking out the names of the two companies.

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He, therefore, urged the court to rule in his favour for the plea of the accused persons to be taken.

Consequently, the presiding judge, Justice Musa Kurya, adjourned ruling till tomorrow.

In a seven-count criminal charge filed before the court by the prosecutor, it was alleged that Geacan Energy Ltd, Chinyerem Anike Nweke,t he managing Director of Geacan Energy, Petroleum Brokers Ltd, Ogundipe Olaniran, the Managing Director of Petroleum Brokers, Lister Oil Ltd and Oando Plc between January and April 2011 in Lagos, conspired among themselves and other persons now at large to commit a felony; to wit, obtaining the sum of N1,323,162,160.76 as subsidy from the Federal Goverment of Nigeria under false pretence that they had imported and sold 17,837,160 litrer of petrol.

—Akin kuponiyi

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