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EFCC Arraigns More Subsidy Scam Suspects

By on July 31, 2012

Seun Ogunbanbo and Habila Theck

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the trio of Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, Habila Theck and Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited, before Justice Adeniyi Onibanjo of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

The defendants were arraigned on a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of false documents.

They stand accused by the EFCC of fraudulently obtaining N980 million from the Federal Government by falsely representing that the said sum represented subsidy accruing from the importation of 13,627,084 litres of petrol purportedly purchased from Sealac Petroleun Limited and imported into Nigeria through MT Diplomat Ex mT Milleura.

The EFCC also alleges that the defendants, with intent to defraud, forged a document titled “Certificate of Origin, Port of Loading Antwerp Belgium” dated October 14, 2011, purporting the document to have been issued by Seatac Petroleum Limited.

Although the commission had earlier preferred a seven-count charge against the defendants, one of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Francis Usani, applied to the court to drop one of the charges.

According to the EFCC, the offences committed by the defendants is contrary to Section 8 and punishable under Section 1 (1)(2)(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Also one of the defendants arraigned last week, Christian Taylor, has had his application for bail variation faulted by counsel for EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs.

Gadzma, counsel to Taylor, had urged the court to vary the bail condition that required a surety in the person of a blood relation living in Lagos, stating that his client was originally from Sierra Leone and had no family living in Lagos.

However, EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs provided evidence in the defendant;s own hand which said he and his father hailed from Edo State.

Jacobs said, “In a statement attached to the proof of evidence, he claimed to be from Edo State. This is a statement written by himself in his handwriting.

“To now turn around and say he is from Sierra Leone surprises me. Even in his asset declaration form, he said his father was from Edo State.

“If he is not stable at this level, I wonder what it will be like if he is totally released.”