9th December, 2013
Henry Ojelu& Oluchi Chiowa
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today re-arraigned Mahmud Tukur, son of the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and four others for their alleged complicity in the fuel subsidy fraud.
Tukur was arraigned afresh alongside Ochonogor Alex, Abdullahi Alao, son of prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arikesola-Alao and Eterna Oil and Gas Plc before a new trial judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court.
The trial was transferred from Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo to Justice Lawal-Akapo after the former was moved to the Commercial Division of the High Court.
The defendants are facing a nine-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of false documents.
EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, alleged that they had between January and April 2011 in Lagos, fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.8 billion from the Federal Government.
He alleged that the defendants obtained the money from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 80.3 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
They were also alleged to have forged a bill of lading dated April 28, 2011, which they used in facilitating the fraud.
Jacobs said their alleged offences contravened Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.
According to him, they also contravened Sections 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Lawal-Akapo however asked the defendants to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted by the former trial judge.