Some of the oil marketers in court
By Akinwale Akintunde
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Saturday arraigned eight more directors of oil marketing companies and five oil-marketing and trading firms before the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, for fuel subsidy fraud.
Six directors and four companies were arraigned before Justice Habeeb Abiru on eight-count charges bordering on uttering, obtaining and falsifying documents. Two directors and an oil marketing firm were arraigned before Justice Lateefa Okunnu on 18-count charge bordering on uttering, obtaining and falsifying documents.
According to EFCC, the marketers and companies arraigned yesterday had conspired to and also obtained huge sums of money from the Federal Government, purporting the sum to be payment for subsidy under the Petrol Support Fund for the purported importation of Premium Motor spirit from Europe to Nigeria.
The directors and the companies arraigned before Justice Abiru separately in batches were Anosyke Group of Companies Ltd, Ifeanyi Anosike, Dell Energy Limited, Emeka Chukwu, Ngozi Ekeoma, Downstream Energy Sources Ltd, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu Maula, Rocky Energy Ltd, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah, being the first batch.
The EFCC accused them of fraudulently obtaining N1,537,278,880.82 from the federal government by falsely representing that the said sum represented subsidy accruing from the importation of 15,000 Metric tones of Premium Motor Spirit.
Similarly, also arraigned before Justice Abiru on an eight count charge for the second batch, were Downstream Energy Sources Limited, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu Maula, Rocky Energy Limited, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah.
They were also accused of fraudulently obtaining N789,648,329.25 from the federal government by falsely representing that the said sum represented subsidy accruing from the importation of 14,273,0227 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
The anti-graft commission alleged that all the defendants at various times forged different bill of lading for Premium Motor Spirit not supplied all in a bid to claim the federal government’s subsidy on fuel.
The ten pleaded not guilty to the charges and their counsel applied for a date for hearing of bail application with a prayer that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody.
Justice Abiru adjourned the matter till October 19, for hearing on bail and ordered that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody.
The two directors and a company arraigned before Justice Okunnu, out of the expected eight are ASB Investment Limited, Aro Samuel Bamidele and Abiodun Kayode Bankole.
The three defendants arraigned before Justice Okunnu also pleaded not guilty and the court fixed bail hearing for October 9, 2012 with an order that the defendants be remanded in EFCC custody.