14 November 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS — TWO oil marketers, Mahmud Tukur and Abdullahi Alao, Tuesday, informed an Ikeja High Court in Lagos that they were in discussion with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, regarding the charges preferred against them.
Tukur and Alao were charged to court for an alleged N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud.
The defendants are sons of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, national chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao, respectively.
They were arraigned alongside Ochonogor Alex and Eterna Oil and Gas Plc before the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty and were each granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
At the resumed proceedings, Tuesday, the defence counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun and Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (both Senior Advocates of Nigeria), hinted the court of the talks between the parties.
Olanipekun said:”We have studied the processes filed by the prosecution. We as senior counsel, owe it as a duty to our clients to enter into discussion with the prosecution regarding the charge.
“That is why we did not challenge the charge when it was filed. We are, therefore, asking the court to give us more time to engage in this discussion, so that the matter can be speedily resolved.”
EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) also confirmed that both parties were talking.
The judge acceded to their request and adjourned the matter to December 15 for mention.
Meantime, an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril and his firm, Brila Energy Limited were, Tuesday, arraigned on a 13- count charge of obtaining money by false pretense, uttering and forgery.
According to the charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Lateefat Okunnu, they are accused of allegedly swindling the Federal Government of N963.7 million fuel subsidy money.