Fuel subsidy fraud: Court dismisses Alao’s applications

judiciary31 December 2013, Ikeja – An Ikeja High Court on Friday dismissed three applications filed by an oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao, who is being prosecuted for an alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trial judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu, dismissed the applications for “being an abuse of court processes.”

One of the dismissed applications had prayed the court to set aside its Oct. 21 ruling which dismissed Alao’s previous application to quash the charges.

The other application had urged the court to stay further proceedings on the trial, pending the determination of Alao’s appeal against the ruling at the Court of Appeal, Lagos.

The third application had sought for a referral of the matter to the Court of Appeal, for a case slated for hearing.

In her ruling, Okunnu struck out the applications on the grounds that the prayers being sought for had been previously determined by the Supreme Court in other matters.

She said Section 277 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State subject states that “an appeal for stay of proceedings shall not be entertained until judgment is delivered in a criminal matter.

“It is a roundabout attempt to stall proceedings and an abuse of the process of the court,” the judge held.

Okunnu, therefore, adjourned the matter till Feb. 27, for continuation of trial.

NAN reports that Abdullahi, son of a prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao, was charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He is standing trial alongside two other oil marketers, Olarenwaju Olalusi and Opeyemi Ajuyah, and their companies –Majope Investment Ltd. and Axenergy Ltd.

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