EFCC Re-Arraigns Ali, Three Others Over N4.5 Billion Fuel Subsidy Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday 26 November, 2012 re-arraigned three individuals: Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor and Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and one company, Nasaman Oil Services Limited before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja for offences bordering on fraudulently obtaining money from the Federal Government through Petroleum Support Fund.

Specifically, the accused persons were arraigned on a 13 count charge for allegedly obtaining N4.5 billion through false pretence contrary to Section 1 (2) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006. They are also alleged to have committed forgery and uttering of false document contrary to Section 468 of the Criminal Code Cap 17 of Lagos State of Nigeria.  The re-arraignment of Mamman Ali and Christian Taylor, according to the prosecution counsel, Francis Usani was due to the need to include Oluwaseun Ogunbambo who is said to have participated hugely in the deal.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. Toyin Pinheiro, SAN, counsel to Mamman Nasir Ali and Christian Taylor then asked the court to allow his client to continue to enjoy their bail terms as they have already been granted bail by the court. However, attempts by Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN, counsel to Ogunbambo to move for bail for his client was opposed by EFCC counsel who said he needed time to response to the bail application.

Justice Onigbanjo ruled that Mamman Nasir Ali and Christian Taylor should continue to enjoy their bail while ordering that Ogunbambo be remanded in prison custody.  Justice Onigbanjo adjourned to November 28 for hearing of the bail application while fixing February 6, 13, and 21, 2013 for commencement of trial.

Justice Onigbanjo had,  in June, granted bail to Ali and Taylor in the sum of N20 million each, two sureties in like sum, one of the sureties is to own a landed property worth N100 million and the certificate to be deposited with court. The judge also ordered that one of the sureties should be a level 16 officer either with the Lagos State government or the Federal government and should present evidence of tax payment in the last three years. The accused persons are to deposit their international passports with EFCC while the court registrar is to verify the sureties.


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