EFCC Names First 20 Suspects To Be Arraigned Over $6.8 Billion Fuel Subsidy Fraud



 

 

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EFCC Names First 20 Suspects To Be Arraigned Over $6.8 Billion Fuel Subsidy Fraud

Posted: July 24, 2012 – 14:19
By Wilson Uwujaren-EFCC Media & Publicity Unit

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has concluded arrangements to prosecute the first batch 20 suspects implicated in the oil subsidy fraud. The suspects, comprising six oil companies and 11 individuals, will be docked in Lagos courts.

The companies involved are: Nasaman Oil Services; Eternal Oil and Gas Plc; Ontario Oil & Gas Plc; Nadabo Energy Limited; Pacific Silver Line Limited, Axenergy Limited and Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited.

The 11 individuals involved in the scam are: Mamman Nasir Ali; Christian Taylor; Mahmud Tukur; Ochonogor Alex; Walter Wagbatsoma; Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi; Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer; Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele; Abubakar Ali Peters; Jude Agube Abalaka,  Abdulahi Alao and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo.

Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele is director of the accounting firm, Akintola Williams Deloitte while Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer is a staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulating Agency, PPPRA.

Nasaman Oil Services; Mamman Nasir and Christian Taylor are to face charges bordering on obtaining N4, 460, 130, 797. 94 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Million, One Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira, Ninety Four Kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria under false pretence. The sum is alleged to have been fraudulently obtained as subsidy payments from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 30.5million litres of Premium Motor Spirit from SEATAC Petroleum Limited of British Virgin Islands.

In the same vein, the anti-graft agency will equally prosecute Abdulahi Alao and Axenergy Limited for allegedly obtaining the sum of N2, 640, 141, 707.75 (Two Billion, Six Hundred and Forty Million; One Hundred and Forty One Thousand; Seven Hundred and Seven Naira, Seventy Five Kobo) being payments received from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 33.3 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

Others include Mahmud Tukur,  Ochonogor Alex; Abdulahi Alao and Eternal Oil And Gas Plc who will be docked for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1, 899, 238, 946. 02 (One Billion, Eight Hundred and Ninety Nine Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Six Naira, Two Kobo) from the Petroleum support Fund for a purported importation of 80.3million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

Also, Nadabo Energy Limited, Abubakar Ali Peters, Jude Agube Abalaka and Pacific Silver Line Limited are to be prosecuted for allegedly obtaining the sum of N1, 464, 961, 978.24 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Eight Naira, Twenty- Four Kobo ), being payments fraudulently received from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 19.4million litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

Walter Wagbatsoma; Adaoha Ugo -Ngadi; Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer; Ezekiel   Olaleye Ejidele and Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited will be arraigned for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N1, 959, 377, 542, .63 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Three Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Sixty Three Kobo) from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 39.2 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.

Lastly, Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo are to be docked for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N979,653,110.20 ( Nine Hundred and Seventy Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Three Thousand, One Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira, Twenty Eight Kobo), from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 33, 627, 84 litres of Premium Motor Spirit.
The 20 suspects are among the over 140 individuals and organisations involved in the on- going investigations into the subsidy payments by the EFCC. More suspects will be arraigned periodically as the investigation progresses.

This investigation is massive and extensive; and the Commission wishes to reassure Nigerians that every effort will be made to bring all those who defrauded the country in the guise of subsidy for imported fuel to book.

 

 

Nigeria: Fuel Subsidy Fraud – EFCC to Arraign Marketers Today

BY EJIOFOR ALIKE, 24 JULY 2012

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will today charge the detained directors of seven oil-marketing companies, including Eterna Oil Plc and Nasaman Oil Services Limited, to the Lagos High Court for their alleged complicity in the petrol subsidy fraud.

Eterna and Nasaman Oil are believed to be owned and promoted by chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, as the EFCC proceeds with the prosecution of marketers, oil marketers under the aegis of Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) yesterday made good their threat to shut down their jetties and tank farms.

This is just as the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA) has given the Federal Government a 48-hour ultimatum to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims, failing which its members shall suspend the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide

Though details of the arraignment by EFCC were still sketchy as at press time yesterday, THISDAY gathered that the directors of five other oil-marketing companies will also be arraigned for allegedly collecting subsidies through fraudulent means.

EFCC sources, who confirmed the development, told THISDAY that the charges against the affected directors had been prepared by the legal department of the anti-graft agency and its external prosecuting counsel.

The companies will be charged before five judges who have been handpicked by the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Adeyoola Phillips.

The judges are: Justice Samuel Candid-Johnson, Justice Lawal Akapo, Justice Habeeb Abiru, Justice Adeniyo Onibajo and Justice Dotun Adefope-Okojie.

An EFCC source had confirmed to THISDAY during the weekend that the commission had in the course of investigations identified marketers, who had “fraudulently and knowingly” collected subsidies from the Federal Government.

He said the commission was able to establish the fraud committed by the marketers, by comparing the bills of lading at their offshore banks with the bills of lading they had submitted to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for subsidy claims.

In doing so, the source revealed, EFCC had found discrepancies in these documents, indicating that the marketers submitted forged documents to make their claims.

The EFCC source said this was done by fraudulently altering the bills of lading with the offshore banks for which the Letter of Credit (LC) was opened by the Nigerian banks, potentially indicating that there is a syndicate that specialises in forging bills of lading.

The commission, the source said, has commenced investigations to unmask this syndicate.

The source added that having established the fraud committed by these marketers, the agency invited them for questioning.

“When they were confronted with the damning evidence in the possession of the EFCC, they could not deny it. They owned up to the fraud,” he said.

It was learnt that the EFCC took mug shots of these marketers, released some of them on administrative bail and detained five others, who the source said, are likely to be arraigned in Lagos.

THISDAY also gathered that to ensure that all legal loopholes are covered, the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, was said to have met with Justic Phillips on Friday to intimate her of the commission’s intention to prosecute the fradulent marketers at the Lagos High Court.

The choice of arraigning the indicted marketers in Lagos, it was learnt, was because they committed the crime through the Lagos ports and most of them also have their registered offices in the state.

The EFCC source further revealed that in addition to these marketers that the agency is set to prosecute, the anti-graft commission and the State Security Service (SSS) are closely monitoring other marketers suspected to have defrauded the subsidy scheme.

Such marketers, the source added, included those who imported petroleum products and claimed subsidy on such products, using dead ships, known in industry parlance as ‘decommissioned ships’, as well as or unverifiable mother and daughter vessels.

The source stated that the commission was still trying to conclude its investigations into this category of marketers.

But as an interim measure, the source added that the agency had identified those who pose a flight risk and those who own private jets, and had solicited the SSS’ assistance in monitoring their movements.

The source also disclosed that the law enforcement agency had informed Interpol in the event that any of these marketers under investigation crosses the country’s borders.

Industry sources also reliably informed THISDAY that it is marketers who know that the noose is being tightened around their necks that have become jittery and have mobilised other marketers and the oil unions to threaten strike under the guise that the Federal Government has not paid their outstanding subsidy claims.

Meanwhile, DAPPMA has given the Federal Government 48 hours ultimatum to pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims, accrued interests and the foreign exchange differentials arising from late payments, failing which its members will suspend the supply of petroleum products nationwide.

In a communiqué at the end of its emergency meeting yesterday, the association stated that the bank loans used to finance importation of petroleum products have continued to accrue interest over and above the 45 days allowed for reimbursement.

The association said the unilateral decision by the Federal Government to indefinitely suspend all verified and outstanding subsidy payments since January had exposed its members to financial crisis.

The communiqué, which was signed by the President of the association, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, and Secretary, Mr. Ikem Ohia, also stated that DAPPMA members had been exposed to the “harsh effects of the devaluation of the naira that will make it impossible to fully repay the outstanding dollar denominated loans when eventually payments are made by the Federal Government.”

DAPPMA demanded that government should within 48 hours pay all verified and outstanding subsidy claims and all the accrued interests over and above the contractual period.

It also demanded the payment of all the foreign exchange differentials arising from late payment of subsidy.

“That DAPPMA therefore implores government to meet the above demands within 48 hours, failing which we will be constrained to suspend the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide,” the communiqué added.

The association noted that with a combined storage capacity of 2 billion litres, its members have the highest tankage volume in the country.

According to the association, since the partial deregulation policy introduced by the administration of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1998, DAPPMA members had invested over $3 billion in the downstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Should DAPPMA go on strike, it will be joining JEPTON, which issued a similar ultimatum to the Federal Government, effective yesterday, for the non-payment of subsidy claims.

THISDAY gathered JEPTON members made good their threat by shutting their tank farms and jetties.

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