EFCC: How 20 suspects looted N13b subsidy cashEFCC Politics, National Politics, Top Stories Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Fresh facts emerged yesterday on how the N13.4billion fuel subsidy funds were allegedlly diverted by 20 suspects, who belong to the first batch of those to face trial.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), will lead the team, which will prosecute the 20 suspects. The trial is to begin today in Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has also lined up 43 witnesses to testify against the suspects.
The companies to be charged 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 individual suspects 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 giant, Akintola Williams Deliote. Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer is a member of the staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
According to some papers, including the charge sheets obtained by our correspondent and signed by Director of Prosecution, Mrs. O.O. Fatunde, the seven companies and 13 individuals allegedly used various methods to claim subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit that was not imported.
The illicit methods include alleged forgery of Bill of Lading; false documents relating to purchase of PMS; use of companies and vessels without importing products; cooking records; generation of fake Origin Certificate purported to have been issued by some trading firms; a make up of Shore Quality Certificate on fuel that was not imported; and abuse of Form M required for importation of goods/products.
According to one of the documents, “Abdulahi Alao and Axenergy Limited on the 16th day of September, 2011 obtained money by false pretence from the Federal Government, forged a “Bill of Lading”, purporting the document to have been issued by Mercuria Energy Trading NV to the Order of Mercuria Trading NV on board NIPPON Princess.”
The government accused Nasaman Oil Services, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor and Olabisi AbdulAfeez (now at large) of receiving payment from the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) for products allegedly not imported.
It alleged that the four suspects, between 2010 and 2012, “conspired to commit an offence to wit: obtaining the sum of N2, 230,065,398.97 false pretence from the Federal Government of Nigeria, purporting the said sum to be payment under the PSF as subsidy for the purported importation of Premium Motor Spirit from Europe to Nigeria.”
The four suspects are also alleged to have obtained N749, 991,273.36 “purporting the said sum to be subsidy payable to Nasaman Oil Services by the Federal Government under the PSF in respect of 10,031,986 litres of PMS, which the suspects falsely claimed to have purchased from SEATAC Petrol Limited of British Virgin Islands and allegedly imported to Nigeria through mother vessel, MV Overseas Limar and DV Liquid Fortune (the daughter vessel) and financed through Form M No. MF 124,968 and 1242965.
The four suspects are also being tried for allegedly “obtaining N1,480,074, 125.61, purporting the said sum to be subsidy payment to Nasaman Oil Services by the Federal Government under the PSF in respect of 20,492,982.50 litres, which the suspects falsely claimed to have purchased from SEATAC Petroleum Limited.
They are to face trial for “obtaining by false pretence, contrary to Section 1 of the Advance fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.
The same allegation of cooking of records for products not imported is against Mahmud Tukur; Ochonogor Alex; Abdulahi Alao and Eterna Oil and Gas Plc.
The accused persons were said to have “on the 28th day of April 2011, with intent to defraud, conspired to commit an offence to wit: obtaining the sum of N338, 544,397.46 by false pretence from Federal Government of Nigeria, purporting same to be payment accruing to Eterna Oil and Gas under the PSF which they falsely claimed to have purchased 33,288,338 litres of PMS from Mercuria Energy Trading SA and imported to Nigeria through MT Fulmer, Ex MT Emirate Star and MT Panther Ex Emirate Star.
Tukur and co. allegedlly “forged a document, titled Bill of Lading dated 28th April, 2011 purporting the document to have been issued by Mercuria Energy Trading SA on behalf of Mercuria Trading NV.
They are also on trial under the Advance Fee Fraud Act 2006.
For alleged forgery of Shore Quality Certificate, the government has filed papers against Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer, Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele, and Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
They are said to have “conspired on 7th July 2010, with intent to defraud, forged a certain document to wit: Shore Quality Certificate, showing 19,681,731 litres at observed volume purporting the same to be certificate of the actual PMS delivered by Mt. Union Brave to Integrated Oil and Gas Limited in Lagos.
The suspects will also be in the dock for alleged forgery of a Shore Quality Certificate showing 19,523,892 litres at observed volume purporting the same to be certificate of the actual PMS delivered by Mt. Madonna at Obat Petroleum and Oil Limited’s Depot Lagos., Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria , 2003.
They are being arraigned for altering, false documents contrary to Section 468 of the Criminal Code, CAP C 17
Regarding those in the last group (Nadabo Energy Limited; Abubakar Ali Peters, Jude Abalaka and Pacific Silver Line Limited), the government is accusing them of false claim.
They were said to have conspired between February and April 2012 to commit an offence to wit: “obtaining the sum of N1, 464,961,978.24 by false pretence from Federal Government of Nigeria, purporting the same to be payment accruing to the suspects under the PSF in respect of 19,488,922 litres of PMS which they falsely claimed to have purchased from Ashland Energy SA and imported to Nigeria through Mothers Vessel, MT American Express and the daughter vessel, MT St. Venessa and financed through Form M No. MF 878037.”
About 43 witnesses will testify against the 20 suspects who may be arraigned today.
The witnesses include top officials of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency(PPPRA), officials of the CBN, Debt Management Office(DMO), Union Bank, Sterling Bank and EFCC investigators, among others.
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