The law bared its fangs, yesterday, as the Ikeja and Lagos judicial divisions will try 7 oil companies and 12 directors charged before them.
They face between 7 years and 20 years imprisonment and to refund N304bn which was alleged to have been illegally taken from the Federal Government coffers.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, filed charges against the first batch of 18 suspects comprising six oil companies and 12 individuals implicated in the oil subsidy fraud. The companies are: Nasaman Oil Services; Eterna Oil and Gas Plc; Contario Oil & Gas Plc; Nadabo Energy Limited; Pacific Silver Line Limited, Axenergy Limited and Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited.
The 12 individuals involved in the scam are: Mamman Nasir Ali; Christian Taylor; Mahmud Tukur; Ochonogor Alex; Walter Agbasoma; 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 of Akintola Williams Deloitte while Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer is a staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulating Agency, PPPRA.
At Ikeja High Court, Justices Habeeb Abiru and Adeniyi Onigbanjo have been assigned to entertain some of the charges while Justices Samuel Candide-Johnson, Lawal Akapo and Dotun Adefope-Okojie of Lagos High Court will try the other charges in Lagos.
Justices Abiru and Onigbanjo who are presently on annual court vacation couldn’t come for the formal arraignment of the oil marketers yesterday. It was gathered that the Judges will sit today (Wednesday) for their arraignment.
In Justice Onigbanjo’s court, Mahmud Tukur, son of the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Ochonogor Alex, Abdulahi Alao and Eterna Oil & Gas Ltd are defendants in a nine-count charge of alleged conspiracy, forgery, and obtaining N676.9 million under false pretence.
The EFCC alleged that the suspects on April 28, 2011 in Lagos, fraudulently obtained a total sum of N676.9 million from the Federal Government purporting same to be payment accruing to Eterna Oil under the Petroleum Support Fund.
They are also accused of falsifying claims of having “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.”
The case preferred against the defendants before Justice Abiru bordered on “conspiracy to obtain N1.9 billion under false pretence contrary to Section 8, punishable under Section 107 of Advance Fee Fraud & other Related offences.”
The charge against Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer and Ezekiel Olajide Ejide stated that they “conspired to obtain property by false pretence contrary to Section 8 punishable under Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences on July 7, 2010, within the jurisdiction of this court.
“Conspired to commit an offence to wit: Obtaining the sum of N340, 178, 111.231 from the Federal Government of Nigeria, purporting to be Payment Support Fund, which sum was in excess of the actual value of the product imported into Nigeria.”
They were also said to have collected the sum of N340, 015,198, being “Excess of the value of the actual product (12,070,706 litres) delivered by MT. Union Brave to Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd on your behalf as against 19,681, 731 litres you falsely claimed to have discharged.”
The defendants were also accused by the government of “altering and forging documents contrary to Section 468 and 467 of the Criminal Code Cap. C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos of State of Nigeria, 2006” respectively. The offences were said “to contradict Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences.
“The charge further said: “On July 7, 2010, within the jurisdiction of the court, you conspired to commit an offence to wit: Obtaining the sum of N340, 178, 111.231 from the Federal Government of Nigeria Support Fund, which sum was in excess of the actual value of the product imported into Nigeria.”
Abdulahi Alao will also face another 7-count charge bothering on obtaining by false pretence, 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.”
In same vein, two directors of other oil companies who were charged before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere will be arraigned on Thursday (tomorrow) for their alleged complicity in the fuel subsidy fraud of N2.153 billion, for the importation of 36.654 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into the country.
In a charge No. ID/117C/2012, Integrated Resources Limited, Durosola Omogbemigun, Pinnacle Oil & Gas and Peter Mba who are defendants were accused of having between 2010 and 2011conspired to defraud the Federal Republic of Nigeria by collecting the said money from the Petroleum Support Fund, in respect of purported importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Europe to Nigeria.
The charge read: “You Integrated Resources Limited, Durosola Omogbemigun, Pinnacle Oil & Gas and Peter Mba, on or about February 4, 2011 within the jurisdiction of this Court, by false pretence and intention to defraud obtained from the Federal Republic of Nigeria the sum N986.154 million, requested the said money to be subsidy payment payable to the Integrated Resources Limited, by the Federal Government, under the Petroleum Support Fund, in respect of 19.347 million litres of PMS, which you falsely claimed to have purchased from Guinness Petroleum Limited.”
The charge further stated, “Omogbemigun, on November 15, 2011 defrauded the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the sum N343.182 million, money meant to be subsidy payable to the Integrated Resources Limited, by the Federal Government, under the Petroleum Support Fund, in the respect of 4.116 million litres of PMS, which he claimed to have purchased from Alkamo International Limited and allegedly imported into Nigeria.
“That Durosola Omogbemigun, on or about November 15, 2011 within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, by false pretence with intent to defraud the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the sum of N823.305 million, purported the said sum to be subsidy payable to the Integrated Resources Limited, by the Federal Government, under the Petroleum Support Fund, in respect of 9.191 million litres of PMS, which you falsely claimed to have purchased from Alkamo International Limited and alleged imported into Nigeria”
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.
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 Agbasoma; Adaoha Ugo -Ngadi; Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer; Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele and Contario 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.
Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo who are also charged will 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.