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Fuel subsidy fraud: EFCC Probes Eleven more marketers

By on November 7, 2012


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday probed over 11 marketers in connection with the N382 billion fuel subsidy fraud uncovered by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments.


EFCC acted following recommendations from the committee headed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.


There are indications that some of the marketers probed will be arraigned before the Lagos High Court of Justice next week.


The affected marketers were grilled for over six hours in Abuja.


It was learnt that some of the marketers could not defend themselves as to why they took subsidy payments without importing fuel.


Although others faced the panel on, abuse of process, short-time certificate issues, inflation of subsidy funds accruable to some OM &T, irregular payment and for some, sheer fraudulent cases.

A source, who pleaded anonymity said, “We quizzed some big marketers, who had been indicted by the Presidential Committee. We have been interacting with them and conducting discreet investigation into their role in subsidy fraud.


“We have established some cases against them and fairness requires that we should grill them with facts and figures available to the anti-graft agency.


“So, as we were asking them questions, the lot fell on them to defend allegations of how they cooked records against them. Some of them were also grilled on inflation of imported products and why they got subsidy funds in excess of what they ‘purportedly imported.’


“For this batch of marketers, whom we interacted with for six hours, we are on the last lap of the investigation into their activities.


“The next stage is criminal prosecution of marketers and companies involved in the subsidy fraud.”


In remark he said, “Going by the network of syndicates involved in the scandal, it is not a case you can handle overnight.


“I can confirm to you that we have made tremendous progress in our investigation.


“I think some of the suspects might be arraigned next week before Lagos High Court of Justice after the conclusion of this lap of investigation.”


The source could not disclose the identities of the marketers interrogated yesterday.


He simply said, “I think by next week, we will unveil these suspects who will face trial.”


The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, who spoke to journalists said, “As part of our ongoing investigation into the subsidy payments, this commission interacted with some marketers in Abuja.”


“But I do not have the details. The commission will make relevant information available as it has always done.”