The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, re-arraigned Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo – Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer. Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele and Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited implicated in the fuel subsidy scam before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja. The five suspects were arraigned on a nine count charge bordering on altering, forgery, conspiracy and obtaining property by false pretences.
Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs told the court the matter was for re-arraignment as it was referred from Justice Habeeb Abiru’s court due to his elevation to the appellate court. He prayed they be allowed to take their plea and thereafter, the suspects were called to the dock and the charges read to them. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Thereafter, Rotimi said he will not oppose bail the granted previously by Justice Habeeb Abiru. In the former bail conditions, the first defendant (together with Ontario Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited) received bail in the sum of One hundred and fifty million naira (N150, 000,000.00), and three sureties in like sum, two of whom must have landed properties in Lagos and must all be resident in Lagos. Bail was also granted the second defendant in the sum of One hundred million naira (N100, 000, 000.00) and two sureties in like sum, one of whom must have landed property in Lagos and must all be resident in the state.
Also, the third defendant was granted bail in the sum of ten million naira (N10, 000,000.00) and two sureties in like sum, one of whom must have landed property in Lagos and they must all be resident in Lagos state. Finally, the fourth defendant was also admitted to bail in the sum of ten million naira (N10, 000, 000.00) and two sureties in like sum, one of whom must have landed property in Lagos and they must all be resident in Lagos state
All the sureties must show evidence of two years tax payment, must be gainfully employed with identifiable means of livelihood. The documents of the properties should be deposited with the court registrar. The documents should be verified with the Lagos State Land Registry. An EFCC officials who participated in the investigations should be part of the document’s verification.
Justice Okunnu agreed they be allowed to continue on their previous bail terms and adjourned till May 8, 9, & 10 2013.
The accused person first took their pleas on the nine count charge before Justice Abiru on August 1, 2012.
….Arraigns Seven Oil Thieves
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Tuesday February 26, 2013 arraigned seven suspected oil thieves before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court 1, Benin City, on separate charges bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in Petroleum Products. The accused persons: Paul Ojo, Oduwere Edobor, Lucky Okorie, Andrew Anthony, Kadiri Aloysious, James Aker and Lucky Egbede who were arrested at locations and dates, had in their possessions a truck, bus and kegs loaded with litres of substance suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). They all pleaded not guilty to the charges respectively.
One of the charges against them reads,”that you Paul Ojo and Oduwere Edobor and others now at large on or about the 21st day of January, 2013, along Sapele Road, Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with each other to commit felony to wit dealing in Petroleum Products without appropriate authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act. 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act”.
The charges against others read, “that you Lucky Okorie, Andrew Anthony, Kadiri Aloysious and James Aker and others now at large on or about the 22nd day of December, 2012, at Ekewan Road, Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit dealing in Petroleum Products without appropriate authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act. 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act.”
Justice Liman granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 (five hundred thousand naira) and a surety in like sum respectively. Sureties must have landed property which title deed must be sighted and verified by the bailiff of the court.
The matter has been adjourned to 26th March and 17th April, 2013 for trial respectively.
…..Fashe Itopa Arraigned for N13m Dud Cheque
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday February 27, 2013 arraigned one Mr. Fashe David Kehinde Itopa before Justice Sunday Ebenezer Aladetoyinbo of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on a two-count charge bordering on issuance of Dud Cheque to the tune of N13 million (Thirteen Million Naira).
The accused person who is the Managing Director of Wayves System Investment Limited was alleged to have collected the sum (Thirteen Million Four Hundred Naira only) in two installments from 31 (Thirty One) staff of Cherryfield College with the promise that there will be an 18% monthly interest accruable from their investment, a promise that he later reneged.
Attempt to recover the said money failed especially as two Cheques he issued to his customers bounced which led to the petition and his arrest.
Itopa pleaded not guilty to the two count charge after which his bail application was moved by the defence counsel, Nkem Okoro who urged the court to give bail on most liberal terms since his client has been reporting diligently to the commission ever since he was granted administrative bail and that he has no criminal record.
The prosecution counsel, Charlotte Dennis who did not oppose the bail application however said having no criminal record has no basis in denying or granting bail. She stated that a crime has already been committed.
The judge granted the accused bail in the sum of N13m (thirteen million) and one surety in like sum. The surety must have a landed property in Federal Capital Territory.
The case has been adjourned to May 7 and 8, 2013 for trial.