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EFCC Insists N1.4 billion Subsidy Fraud Suspects Must Face the Law

By on November 27, 2012


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday told a Federal Capital Territory High Court that it has sufficient proof to put three suspects on trial for alleged N1.4billion fuel subsidy fraud.

The N1.4b subsidy fraud suspects are Chizobam Ben-Okafor, Helyn Aninye, and Pon-Specialized Services Limited.

The trio are been tried for offences bordering on forgery and obtaining money under false pretence under Justice Olusumbo Goodluck.

In a statement the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said,

“The suspects were to have been docked on an 18-count criminal charge on November 26 but their pleas could not be taken as their counsel, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) opposed their arraignment on the grounds that the proof of evidence did not disclose a prima facie case against his clients.

“My lord, assuming there are offences to be disclosed, they have not in any way been linked to the applicants, and these links must have a prima facie elements to the applicants.”

“He further said that in a case of forgery, it is required to be proved in a particular way and that no maker of the alleged forged document had been called or identified.

“But Steve Odiase, counsel to EFCC in his application for leave to prefer criminal charge against the accused persons under Section 185 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code, noted that the proof of evidence speaks for itself.

“He stated that the prosecution has formulated three issues for determination by the court in granting the application which include whether the proof of evidence discloses an offence known to law and whether there is a linking of the charge to the applicants.

“My lord, the statement of one (name withheld) of Quality Marine Services limited is enough link to the accused persons.

“Besides, it has been established that in a case of forgery the accused must not be the maker of the said document before being liable.”

“The judge who advised counsel not to jump the gun by addressing issues in the substantive case, adjourned to February 21, 2013 for ruling on both applications.

“The accused persons were said to have on or about the 3rd day of March, 2011 at Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain N1.413, 507,951.50 under false pretence from the Federal Government of Nigeria as subsidy for the importation Premium Motor Spirit under the Petroleum Support Fund”.

“The offence according to the charge sheet was contrary to Section 8(a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act. 2006.”