EFCC Docks Four Over N1.05 Billion Subsidy Fraud



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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on October 17, 2012, arraigned the quartet of Alhaji Saminu Rabiu, Jubril Rowaye, Alminnur Resources Limited and Brila Energy Limited before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on a 17 criminal count charge of conspiracy, forgery and obtaining One billion, Fifty One million, Thirty thousand, Four hundred and Thirty four Naira, Sixty-three kobo (N1, 051,030,434.63) by false pretence

The accused persons allegedly defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria by submitting forged documents and obtaining the sum from the Petroleum Support Fund as subsidy for the importation of 10,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol).

Count One of the 17 Count charge reads, “That you, Alhaji Saminu Rabiu, Jubril Rowaye, ALMINNUR RESOURCES LTD and BRILA ENERGY LTD sometime in May, 2011 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud, did conspire to do an illegal act to wit; to obtain the sum of N1,051,030,434.63 (One billion, Fifty One Million, Thirty thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty Four Naira, Sixty-three kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by false pretence that the said sum represented subsidy payment accruing to ALMINNUR RESOURCES LTD for the purported importation of 10,000 MT of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) which you claimed to have purchased from Napa Petroleum Trade Inc and imported into Nigeria through the Mother Vessel, Mt Kriti Akti, which representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”

When the charges where read to the accused, they all pleaded not guilty. Barristers R.O. Unnah ( Counsel for 1st and 3rd accused) and Ajibola Oluyede (Counsel for 2nd and 4th accused) prayed the court to grant the accused persons bail.

Prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent conditions which will ensure that the accused persons are available for trial.

Justice Banjoko granted bail to each of the accused in the sum of N10million and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a Director in the Civil Service. Both sureties, who must be resident in Abuja, are to swear to affidavit of means and produce evidence of tax payment in the past three years.

In addition, the accused persons must deposit their international passport and three passport photographs each with the court.

She adjourned the case till November 29 and 30, 2012 for commencement of trial, and ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody until they perfect their bail terms.

Also ,the EFCC, on Thursday, October 11, 2012, arraigned Abraham Walson before Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on a nine count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and fraud.

Walson’s arrest and prosecution by the EFCC followed a petition by Mr. Fred Atasie, who alleged that the accused was hired as an instructor at a training centre in Port Harcourt in June 2010, for the training of unemployed youths in pipeline fitting and fabrication. But Walson later recruited his own team and began to extort the unemployed youths by demanding huge sums of money from the trainees under the guise he would facilitate their employment with SAIPEM, an oil servicing company.

In the course of investigation, the accused confessed to collecting huge sums of money from the trainees. According to him, the entire sum that he collected from about 263 youths amounted to over N10, 000,000. From this heist, he purchased a Nissan Almera car with registration number AM 613 BNY.

Part of the charge against Walson reads: “That you, Abraham Walson (M) sometime in February 2011 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court, with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of N1,300,000 (one million three hundred thousand naira) from one Apostle Emmanuel Tom Ebitu under the pretence that the said sum of money would be used for the training of 14 members of his congregation and their job offer as pipe fitters with PETEX CONSULTANT OFFSHORE, you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section1(3) of the same Act.

When the case was called up, Counsel to EFCC, O. B. Akinsola (Mrs.) urged the court to strike out the names of the second and third accused persons from the charge as they were unavailable in court.

The Judge granted the application and struck out the names. When the amended charge was read to the accused person, who pleaded not guilty. But the defence counsel, W.O. Irehovbude immediately tabled an oral application for bail and pleaded with the court to honour same. The court refused the prayer and adjourned the case till Monday October 15, 2012.

At the resumed hearing of the bail application, the judge granted bail in the sum of N2million (two million naira) and two sureties in like sum; one of whom must be based in Port Harcourt. The two sureties, the judge said must produce their passport photographs which must be verified by the prosecution. The matter was adjourned to November 7, 2012, for trial.

 


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