Connect with us

News and Report

EFCC boss testifies against Ali Peters, Nadabo Energy over N761.6m subsidy fraud

Published

on

Justice S. S. Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, admitted in evidence several documents tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against one Abubakar Ali Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, in an alleged N761.6m fraud.

Mr Abubakar and his company are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over a 21-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, diversion of Federal Government funds and forgery to the tune of N761,628,993.84.

One of the counts reads: “Nadabo Energy Limited and Abubakar Ali Peters, on or about 26th day of September, 2011 in Lagos, within the Ikeja judicial division, fraudulently obtained the sum of N761,628,993.84 from the Federal Government by falsely representing that the sum represented the subsidy accrued to Nadabo Energy Limited under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 16,808,064 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which Nadabo Energy Limited purported to have purchased from Delano Petroleum Corporation Akara Tortola British Virgin Island, and transported the 16,808,064 litres through MT Gotland Carolina (mother vessel) and MT Sonia (daughter vessel) to Nigeria, whereas Nadabo Energy Limiter only imported 7,953,962 litres of PMS from Delany Petroleum Corporation Akara Tortola British Virgin Island and transported 7,953,962 litres of PMS through MT Gotland Carolina (mother vessel) and MT Songa (daughter vessel) to Nigeria.”

The offence, which involves obtaining by false pretence, is contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No 14 of 2006.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when he was arraigned on October 7, 2015, thereby prompting the commencement of his trial.

At the resumed sitting today, the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, continued his examination-in-chief as the second prosecution witness.

Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, S.K. Atteh, the prosecution, through the witness, tendered in evidence several documents, as Mr Bawa further testified to the findings of the investigation he led into the alleged fraud.

The prosecution witness said: “In 2015, we received a complaint from the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, alleging fraud in the importation of PMS by Nadabo, and equally received a petition from Falana & Falana Chambers dated 17th of January, 2012.”

The petitions, which also included a complaint from a civil society group, he said, formed the bedrock of the investigation into Nadabo Energy Limited.

However, when the prosecution sought to tender the documents in evidence, the defence counsel, E.O. Isiramen, raised objections to their admissibility.

Citing the sections of the Evidence Act and other authorities, he argued that the documents, referencing the letter of complaint emanating from the civil group, did not meet the criteria stated in the Act, particularly that “there is no proof of payment for certification in line with established judicial authority that certification requires payment.”

Opposing the objection, Mr Atteh cited the case of Sule Lamido vs FRN, arguing that, “the Commission is an agency of the Federal Government and has no prescribed fee to be paid for certifying documents emanating from it.”

After listening to the arguments, the trial judge dismissed the objection and admitted the documents as exhibits P2 to P5.

Thereafter, Bawa told the Court that a Special Team was constituted by the EFCC to probe the subsidy regime.

He said: “The first port of call was the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.”

He also noted that after meeting with PPPRA, the defendant was among many involved in importing petroleum.

“Based on intelligence from PPPRA, we set out to get more intelligence.

“All the banks involved were written to, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Debt Management Office, DMO, Nigeria Port Authorities, NPA, NIMASA, the Nigerian Navy and many other companies involved in dealing with Nadabo Energy Limited.

“We invited all marketers to come forward with the documents they submitted to PPPRA.

“In this particular case, we wrote to him and his company, inviting them to bring forward all documents submitted.

“On 28th January, 2012, he came to our office and I personally interviewed him,” he said.

He added that the PPPRA was, thereafter, contacted to furnish the EFCC with the certified true copies of all documents submitted to it by the defendant.

“They responded in writing attaching the documents submitted by the defendant.

“When we received it, we compared it with the ones he submitted to us and found out that he claimed that he imported 6,000 MT each with two Letters of Credit financed by then Spring Bank Plc, which was not the case,” he further said.

Mr Bawa, in his further elaborate testimony, told the Court that in the course of the investigation, which began in 2012, the EFCC had several correspondences with the DMO, PPPRA, Enterprise Bank, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Staco Insurance Company, Delaney Petroleum Corporation, Skye Bank and Q & Q Services Nigeria Limited.

He said based on the findings of the investigation team, the PPPRA was asked to recompute the money to be paid to the defendant and it was found that he was overpaid N761,628,993.84 as subsidy funds for PMS he claimed to have imported.

According to Mr Bawa, the defendant allegedly used forged documents to claim subsidy funds for 12,000MT of PMS, whereas only about 6,000 MT was imported by the defendant.

Atteh sought to tender the series of correspondences between the EFCC and the various companies and organisations contacted in the course of investigation.

According to Mr Atteh, the companies and organisations supplied the EFCC with documents indicating that fraudulent documents were used by the defendant to obtain subsidy funds from the government.

Mr Isiramen, however, raised objections to their admissibility, raising earlier arguments.

Ruling on the objections, Justice Ogunsanya only upheld Isiramen’s argument to the admissibility of the letter of the EFCC to the Registrar of the CAC, being a photocopy with no certification, but admitted all the other documents marking them as Exhibits P8 to P25.

Thereafter, Bawa told the Court that Abubakar was invited to the EFCC and he gave statements on January 28, 2012 and February 8, 2012.

As Atteh sought to tender the statements, Isiramen again raised objections, arguing that “he was detained in EFCC custody and subjected to inhuman conditions and he was not given water, no food.”

Atteh, however, told the Court that the defendant was never given an inhuman treatment and that the statements were, in fact, not confessional statements.

Thereafter, the trial judge dismissed the objection and admitted the statement in evidence marked as Exhibits P26 and P27.

The case has been adjourned till November 1 and 2, 2021 for “cross-examination of the witness”.

The defendant is also standing trial before Justice C.A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja for an alleged N1.4bn subsidy fraud due for October 5, 2021 for continuation of trial.

News and Report

Just In: Nnamdi Kanu Arrives Court For Trial

Published

on

Detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu has arrived the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, venue of his trial over allegations of terrorism and treasonable felony.

Although his visuals could not be gotten, he was however believed to be among a convoy of about six vehicles that drove into the court premises around 8am on Thursday morning by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS).

The convoy was led by a black Prado jeep, followed by two Hilux, two buses and other two other Hilux.

Before his arrival, security operatives including DSS, Nigerian Army, Police and the NSCDC had condoned off all enterances leading to the headquarters of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Even staff of the Federal High Court had to alight from their staff bus to be screened before they were allowed to go in.

Nnamdi Kanu was arraigned alongside four others on six count criminal trial charge bordering on alleged terrorism and treasonable felony in 2016.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail in the sum of N100 million with three sureties in like sum, one of which was a serving Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

However, he had jumped his bail in 2017 after his family house in Afarukwu, Abia State was invaded by personnel of the Nigerian Army.

Following the jumping of his bail, trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako had voided the bail and issued a warrant for his arrest.

After nearly four years of being a fugitive, he was re-arrested by security agents in collaboration with interpol and brought to Nigeria in late June to face his trial.

At the proceedings in July, his trial could not go on because of the failure of the DSS to produce him in court.

Justice Nyako had held that the court could not try him in absentia now that he has been re-arrest and in the custody of the federal government.

She accordingly adjourned to today for his rearaignment.

Only few days ago, the federal government had amended the charge to seven.

It would be recalled that the court had in 2019 separated Kanu’s trial from the others after he jumped bail and ordered his trial in absentia.

Details later.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Real Reasons EFCC Grills Ex-Kano Governor Kwankwaso Over N10billion Fraud

Published

on

Kwankwaso was invited for allegedly diverting the N10billion meant for the payment of pensions and construction of houses.

Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Saturday, grilled the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, over allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies

Punch reports that Kwankwaso was invited for allegedly diverting the N10billion meant for the payment of pensions and construction of houses.

Kwankwaso, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, was first invited by the EFCC in September but failed to honour the invitation.

The report stated that some retirees are believed to have written a petition to the commission demanding the investigation and possible prosecution of the ex-governor.

The retired employees had told the EFCC that the former governor mismanaged pension remittances to the tune of N10 billion between 2011 and 2015, to fund a housing project for his cronies.

“Kwankwaso came in today. He is responding to questions on alleged fraud following a series of petitions the EFCC received against him. In one of such petitions, the former governor was accused of diverting N10bn meant for the payment of pensions and construction of houses,” an EFCC detective said.

The former governor, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, is among those rumoured to be nursing a presidential ambition for 2023.

 

Continue Reading

News and Report

ADVAN rejects APCON standard of practice document

Published

on

The Advertisers Association of Nigeria ADVAN rejects the implementation of the new Advertising Industry Standard of Practice as it makes an unconstitutional attempt to infringe on the rights of private entities to determine their contractual terms.
ADVAN is very supportive of the plan to create a Standard of Practice for the advertising industry, a key objective of ADVAN is to facilitate and support progress in the advertising and marketing communications industry. ADVAN is excited to be a part of any initiative towards the development of industry best practice which will facilitate business and economic growth.
.
The Supreme Court has in many decisions, pronounced that the rationale for freedom of contract is founded on public policy: i.e., parties of full age and competent understanding are deemed to have the utmost liberty of contracting, and that their contracts when entered freely and voluntarily must be held sacred and be enforced by courts of law,
Furthermore, as principal benefactors of Advertising services our role and input with regards to this AISOP has not been fully onboarded, the current AISOP is void of critical elements that protect the rights and interest of the ADVAN community.
It is the submission of ADVAN and all its members, that the current AISOP does not serve collective interest, but rather permits unfair authority of certain parties over others and   creates an unfriendly business framework. It portrays a clear indication of discriminatory standards where the AISOP document in section 5 sub section b (Discounts and Commissions) states that “No party will unilaterally dictate or impose rates on another party except as may be mutually agreed by upon by the parties” however in the summary submitted to the press there is a clause that states “Media rates may be increased at any time provided that at least 30 days’ notice is given prior to implementation”. Latter of which was not included on original documents, further portraying an inconsistency in expectation.
ADVAN requests that in all instances, the condition of a mutually agreed terms by both parties be upheld and not only as it applies to expectations from Advertisers.
Government has a specific and critical role in supporting industry development by providing fair and enabling legislation and guidelines for ethical business practices, this involvement however, should not overrule the constitutional rights of business entities to conduct legitimate business activities.
The perception of a discriminatory regulatory system will be counterproductive to the collective objective of creating a conducive business environment.
Consequently, in the interest of creating an inclusive free, fair, and transparent industry standard of practice, ADVAN has sent in a clear representation of expectation. ADVAN is on standby for the acknowledgment of this position and further engagement on a standard of practice framework that is in the mutual interest of all.

Continue Reading

Trending