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Alleged ₦1.4bn Fraud: EFCC’s Documents Were Duly Obtained – Court

The trial of Abubakar Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, over an alleged ₦1.4 billion oil subsidy fraud, has resumed before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya of the Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja.

The Star Witness, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, AbdulRasheed Bawa continued his testimony before the court.

Bawa who is testifying as the second prosecution witness told the court that his team found that the defendant falsified the volume of petrol that he imported into the country, using forged documents.

“He claimed to have imported about 12,000 metric tonnes of PMS, while our investigation revealed that he imported about 6,000 metric tonnes of PMS,” he said.

“We wrote to the Petroleum Products Price and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), asking them to re-compute the actual payment to the defendant. They wrote back that the company was paid more than ₦1.4bn, he should have been paid about ₦606m.”

The EFCC Chairman who was personally involved in the investigation of the case also told the court that investigations showed that the 2nd defendant, Abubakar was found to be the one managing subsidy transactions in his company.

He sought to put into evidence documents to back his testimony.

The defence counsel, Osagie Isiramen, objected to the tendering of some of the EFCC’s documents which included letters written to various bodies seeking information on the defendants’ transactions.

Justice Ogunsanya listened to the arguments for and against the tendering of the documents and subsequently overruled his objections. The court held that the documents were properly obtained during the course of EFCC’s investigations.

As of the time of this report, the court is still hearing the matter.

The EFCC had arraigned Abubakar Peters and his company Nadabo Energy Limited on a 21-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, diversion of Federal Government funds and forgery.

The trial, which began in October 2015, predates the appointment of Bawa as the Chairman of the EFCC.

Abubakar is also facing a similar charge brought against him by the EFCC before Justice Christopher Balogun of the same Lagos High Court.

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