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N1.3b subsidy scam: EFCC’s negotiation with marketers breaks down

By on January 29, 2013

The attempt by two marketers, Aro Sunday Bamidele and Abiodun Kayode Bankole, to negotiate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the N1.3 billion subsidy fraud preferred against them has failed.

Both marketers are standing trial over their role in the fuel subsidy fraud and obtaining money under false pretense from the Federal Government.

The EFCC had alleged that the defendants had fraudulently obtained N1.3 billion from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday, EFCC counsel, Tayo Olukotun, informed the court that the negotiation process had failed.

“My Lord, I wish to inform the court that negotiations between the parties have broken down. We were informed on Wednesday, January 24 of this development.

“The defendants have filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection, we would like to respond to this and would be applying for a short time to respond,” Olukotun stated.

Justice Okunnu adjourned the matter till February 26 for arguments on the Preliminary Objection.

The oil marketers, alongside their company A.B.S Investment Company Ltd, were among the 13 suspects arraigned by the anti-graft agency on October 5, 2012 for a whopping N3.7 billion fuel subsidy scam.

They are to face 18-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and uttering.

The massive fraud was perpetrated using various instrumentalities such as forging of bills of lading, certificate of quantities and certificate of origin among other criminal infractions to fraudulently obtain payments from the petroleum support fund as subsidy for the importation of petroleum motor spirit (petrol).

[Daily Independent]