Convicted Oil Marketer Asks Court to Stay Judgment Ordering Him to Refund N963.7m to FG

0

Akinwale Akintunde
A convicted oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril, has asked an Ikeja High Court to stay the execution of a judgment ordering him to refund the sum of N963.7million stolen in an oil subsidy scam to the federal government.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu had in a judgment delivered on March 16, 2017 convicted and jailed Rowaye Jubril (1st defendant) 10 years in a N754 million subsidy fraud case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court also convicted Jubril’s company, Brila Energy Limited, which was the 2nd defendant in the matter having found the defendants guilty on a 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of false documents.

But the defendant, through his counsel, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), had in an application dated May 16, 2017 sought an order of the court for stay of execution on the monetary part of the judgment pending determination of the appeal filed by the defendants/applicant.

Jubril had also requested the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondents from taking any step to enforce the judgment of the court.
But the prosecution had urged the court to dismiss the application on the ground that the applicant has not placed any material before the court to warrant granting of their request for a stay of the judgment delivered March 16.
Justice Okunnu dismissed the application then on the ground that there was no valid order of stay of execution on her judgment.

She ruled that an order of stay of execution of a judgment must be based on a valid appeal, adding that it is only on that basis that a judgment cannot be executed until disposal of an appeal.

The judge said there was nothing before the court to show that the 2nd defendant, Brila Energy Limited, filed the notice of appeal, noting that the appeal was filed by Jubril, the 1st defendant.

Returning to court yesterday, Jubril’s counsel, Pedro, in an application supported by a 20-paragraph affidavit, asked the court for a stay of execution of the part of the judgment ordering the refund of the funds to the government, pending the outcome of an appeal before the appellate court.

“I appeal to this court to stay execution pending the outcome of an appeal.
“If the monetary judgment is enforced, that would be the end of the second defendant applicant (Brila Energy).
“The second defendant would not be able to enforce its constitutional right of appeal anymore,” Pedro told the court.

The EFCC, through its counsel, Mr. S.A Atteh, however, opposed Pedro’s application to stay the execution of the court judgment.
Justice Okunnu has adjourned the case until October 4, 2017 for ruling.