Fuel subsidy: EFCC seeks to file additional proof of evidence

09 April 2013, Lagos — Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, before an Ikeja High Court requested to file an additional proof of evidence against an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril and his company, Brila Energy Ltd, to show how they swindled the Federal Government of the N963.7 million fuel subsidy fund.

In an application made before Justice Lateefa Okunnu at the resumed hearing of their case, the EFCC counsel, Mr Seidu Atteh said this would enable the prosecution prove his case against the defendants.

He is expected to file the processes for the additional witness and serve on the additional parties before the next adjourned date.

The branch manager of Inspectorate Marine Services Limited, Chidi Onyejekwe, who investigated the alleged fraud of the imported product had in his testimony said the oil marketer forged some documents to obtain the N963.7 million subsidy payment from the government.

The witness led in evidence by EFCC counsel said the inspectorate, has a system of keeping records in connection to the importation of the petroleum products, but there was no evidence that Brila Energy Ltd’s transact such business with them.

Onyejekwe also stated that his signatures never appeared in any of the documents issued to the marketer.

But the defence counsel, R.A Oluyede had while cross examining the witness showed him some documents signed by the inspectorate and issued to his clients.

The documents alleged signed by the officials of the directorate include, a certificate of cargo transfer and a certificate of origin.

The counsel argued that the documents, which were appropriately issued and stamped by the directorate could not be forged.

Further hearing is fixed for June 13, 2013.

Another prosecution witness, Mr Lawal Ahmed had also at the last adjourned date informed the court that Jubril did not import the petroleum products for which he obtained the subsidy payment.

Ahmed was part of the special team set up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the fuel subsidy fraud.

The witness alleged that Jubril had obtained the money from the Federal Government of Nigeria for the purported importation of 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

According to the witness, it was discovered during investigations that Brila Energy had forged some documents which were presented to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to obtain the payment.

“The documents included Gasoline Analysis and Certificate of Quantity of the Mother Vessel, MT Overseas Lima, which was said to have been issued by Saybolt Nigeria Ltd.

“It also included Certificate of Quantity and Cargo Manifest of the Daughter Vessel, MT Defilna which was purportedly issued by Inspectorate Marine Services Ltd,” he said.

According to him, both companies later told the EFCC that the documents did not emanate from them.

He further stated that Llyod Lister, an agency which monitors the movement of international vessels, also confirmed that MT Overseas Lima was in Venezuela when the defendant claimed the vessel was being discharged in off-shore Cotonou.

He said: “The products were discharged but not imported into the country as claimed by the defendant.

“The inspectorate companies which were purportedly involved in the ship to ship transfer have denied ever participating in the transaction.” He added.

*Abdulwahab  Abdulah, Vanguard

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