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N979.6m subsidy fraud: Court orders arrest of oil marketers

By on June 26, 2013

An Ikeja High Court yesterday issued a bench warrant against two oil marketers – Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Habila Theck for failing to attend their trial without cogent reasons. Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo also revoked the bail granted to Ogunbambo (the first defendant) for the same offence.

The oil marketers and their company, Fargo Energy Limited, are being prosecuted by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N979.6 million fuel subsidy fraud.

They were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of forged documents.

Prior to yesterday’s proceeding, hearing on the matter could not proceed owing to the absence of their counsel, Olisa Agbakoba and Adebayo Adenipekun, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).

Their absence, however, stalled the hearing of an application filed by Agbakoba in which he sought to quash the charges against the defendants.

Agbakoba had raised three major constitutional and jurisdictional issues against the EFCC, one of which touches on what is referred to in legal parlance, as “Miranda rights.”

Miranda rights are secured rights of persons arrested or detained, to have legal representation immediately on arrest and before making any statement.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, the defence counsel told the court that the first defendant informed parties on Monday that he was sick.

This prompted the prosecution team, led by Francis Usani, to ask the court to discountenance the defence submission stating that it was a ploy to delay trial.

( National Mirror)