A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Subsidy fraud: Court discharges bench warrant on 2 oil marketers

Justice09 October 2013, Lagos – An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday discharged the bench warrant issued against two oil marketers, Opeyemi Ajuyah and Olarenwaju Olalusi.

The warrant was issued for their arrest on Oct. 8 for failure to attend trial without concrete reasons.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Lateefat Okunnu discharged the warrant after the two defendants and their counsel appeared in court.

The marketers are standing trial over an alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud alongside Abdullahi Alao, son of prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao.

They were charged to court by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The marketers are facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery, uttering and use of false documents.

During Wednesday’s proceeding, counsel to the defendants– Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN) and Mr Oludare Falana — apologised for their absence in court the previous day.

They told the court that their clients were not aware that the date had been set aside for the proceedings.

The lawyers, therefore, prayed the court to discharge the arrest warrant issued against the two defendants.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Ben Ubi, did not oppose to the oral application to vacate the warrant.

The judge said that Alao’s counsel, Mr Aderemi Oguntoye, ought to have informed the other defendants that the date had been fixed for hearing of his application.

Okunnu, therefore, granted the requests of the counsel for the discharge of the warrant.

“I hereby discharge the bench warrant issued against the defendants”.

She adjourned to Oct. 21 for hearing of all pending applications.


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