Fuel subsidy fraud: Absence of Attorney General stalls trial of suspects

25 July 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – THE first batch of suspects in Nigeria’s fuel subsidy fraud appeared in court in Lagos, Wednesday.

The case was, however, adjourned till Thursday following the absence of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adokie, who had signified intention to lead the prosecution.

Six companies and 12 individuals are named in the first batch of suspects listed to face various charges filed before the high court in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The listed included the sons of Peples Democratic Party, PDP, chairman Bamanga Tukur; Ibadan businessman Arisekola Alao and former PDP chairman Ahmadu Ali.

Mahmud Tukur and Abdullahi Alao are charged, alongside Ochonogor Alex and Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Ikeja High Court for fraudulently obtaining N1,899,238,946.02 from the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, for importation of 80.3 million litres of premium motor spirit or petrol.

Mamman Nasir Ali and Christian Taylor along with Nasaman Oil Services are facing charges on an allegation of fraudulently obtaining N4,460,130,797.94 (N4.4 billion) as subsidy payments from the PSF for the purported importation of 30.5 million litres of PMS from SEATAC Petroleum Limited of British Virgin Islands.

Abdullahi Alao and Axenergy Limited will face another charge of allegedly obtaining N2,640,141,707.75 (N2.6 billion) being payments received from the PSF for the purported importation of 33.3 million litres of PMS.

Companies facing trial, according to the EFCC information sheet, are Nasaman Oil Services, Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, Ontario Oil & Gas Plc; Nadabo Energy Limited, Pacific Silver Line Limited, Axenergy Limited, Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited, Integrated Resources Limited and Pinnacle Oil and Gas.

The 11 individuals are Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer, staff member of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele; a director of accounting firm Akintola Williams Deliote Abubakar Ali Peters; Jude Agube Abalaka, Abdulahi Alao and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo.

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  • It was Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman of the EFCC who was quoted during an interview session saying that when you fight corruption, corruption will fight back. That is precisely what is at play in this instance. We just wonder, considering the sensitivity of the fuel subsidy matter, how come the attorney general would chose to fail to put up an appearance.

  • Se ko i se wipe ejo ti fe lowo ninu oro naa sa? Oluwa a sa ran nigeria lowo iyen da mi loju. A day of reckoning is coming whelther we like it or not.