The sons of PDP chairman Bamanga Tukur, Ibadan businessman Arisekola Alao and former PDP chairman Ahmadu Ali are in the first batch of suspects to face various charges filed before the high court in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with the fuel subsidy scam.
Mahmud Tukur and Abdullahi Alao will be arraigned today along with Ochonogor Alex and Eternal Oil and Gas Plc before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Ikeja High Court for fraudulently obtaining N1,899,238,946.02 from the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) for importation of 80.3 million litres of premium motor spirit (PMS).
Mamman Nasir Ali and Christian Taylor along with Nasaman Oil Services will face charges on an allegation of fraudulently obtaining N4,460,130,797.94 (N4.4 billion) as subsidy payments from the PSF for the purported importation of 30.5 million litres of PMS from SEATAC Petroleum Limited of British Virgin Islands.
Abdullahi Alao and Axenergy Limited will face another charge of allegedly obtaining N2,640,141,707.75 (N2.6 billion) being payments received from the PSF for the purported importation of 33.3 million litres of PMS.
The EFCC information sheet showed a total of nine oil companies and 11 individuals against whom it has filed charges.
The companies are Nasaman Oil Services, Eternal Oil and Gas Plc, Ontario Oil & Gas Plc; Nadabo Energy Limited, Pacific Silver Line Limited, Axenergy Limited, Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited, Integrated Resources Limited and Pinnacle Oil and Gas.
The 11 individuals are Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Mahmud Tukur, Ochonogor Alex, Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer, staff member of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, Ezekiel Olaleye Ejidele; a director of accounting firm Akintola Williams Deliote Abubakar Ali Peters; Jude Agube Abalaka, Abdulahi Alao and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo.
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 (N1.4 billion), being payments fraudulently received from the PSF for a purported importation of 19.4million litres of petrol.
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 (N1.9 billion) from the PSF for a purported importation of 39.2 litres of PMS.
Fago Petroleum and Gas Limited and Oluwaseun Ogunbanbo are to be docked for fraudulently obtaining the sum of N979,653,110.20 (N979 million) from the PSF for a purported importation of 33, 627, 84 litres of premium motor spirit.
The suspects are among the over 140 individuals and organisations involved in the ongoing investigations into the subsidy payments by the EFCC, which said that more suspects will be arraigned periodically as the investigation progresses.
According to the EFCC, the offences are contrary to Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offences Act of 2006 and Sections 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.
Meanwhile, the EFCC has filed a separate suit No-ID/117c/12 before Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson of the Lagos High Court, against Durosola Omogbenigun, Peter Mba and two firms.
The suspects are expected to be arraigned on Thursday.
They were alleged to have conspired to obtain money by false pretence, an offence punishable under Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.
They are charged with obtaining funds by false pretence from the Federal Government of Nigeria, purported to be payment accruing under the Petroleum Support Fund as subsidy for the purported importation of Premium Motor Spirit from Europe to Nigeria’’
They were also alleged to have ‘’on February 4, 2011, by false pretence and with intent to defraud obtained from the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of N986, 154, 970. 41 purporting to be subsidy payable to Integrated Resources Limited under the Petroleum Support Fund in respect of 19, 347, 753 litres of PMS falsely claimed from NIMEX Petroleum Limited of Gibraltar and allegedly imported to Nigeria through mother vessel MT Torm Laura and MT Emantha, the daughter vessel, and financed through Form M No-MF 936913’’.
Other counts include obtaining from the federal government N343, 182,230.20 purported to be subsidy payable to Integrated Resources Limited by the Federal Government under the PSF in respect of 4, 115, 951 litres of PMS falsely claimed to have been purchased from Alcamo Integrated Limited/Vitol SA Geneva and allegedly imported to Nigeria through mother vessel MT Box and MT Althea Ex MT Sea Power, the daughter vessels, and financed through Form M No. MF681009’’ and by false pretence and with intent to defraud obtaining from the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of N823, 304,765.84 purporting to be subsidy payable to Integrated Resources Limited under the Petroleum Support Fund in respect of 9,190,815 litres of PMS falsely claimed to have been purchased from Alcamo International Limited/ Vitol SA Geneva and allegedly imported to Nigeria through mother vessel MT Box and MT Althea Ex MT Sea Power, the daughter vessels, and financed through Form M No. MF681009’’.
N382bn subsidy money stolen In 2011 – Aig-Imoukhuede
The Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments also yesterday asked the federal government to commence criminal investigation and prosecution of 21 oil marketing and trading companies (OMTs) it found culpable over alleged theft of subsidy payment funds to the tune of N382 billion in 2011.
Apart from criminal investigation and prosecution of the OMTs, the committee recommended that the said amount should be recovered.
Beside the likely fraudulent cases for criminal investigation allegedly carried out, the 21 OM & Ts affected were said to have also engaged themselves in short-term certificate issues, with a good number of OM & Ts involved in irregular payments, among others.
Chairman of the committee Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, who stated this after presenting the report to President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential villa, Abuja, said “lasting and final solution to ensure that this kind of thing does not occur again is a total deregulation of the downstream sector”.
The president had on July 5, 2012, constituted the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments.
The executive summary of the committee’s report presented to the president noted that 116 oil marketing and trading companies (OMTs) participated in the petroleum subsidy scheme in the period of review.
Briefing State House correspondents alongside presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati and justice minister and attorney-general of the federation Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Aig-Imoukhuede said the presidential committee invited all the 116 companies for interviews, out of which 107 honoured the invitation.
He said: “Out of the N422 billion identified by the technical committee which I chaired, the presidential committee took step to identify and remove duplication, which may have been contained in the technical Committee’s report which was also discovered in the course of the panel’s interviews.
“Of the N422 billion, N18 billion was found to be duplication. So, the actual amount that was being verified is N403 billion. Of this amount, N21 billion was cleared and that leaves N382 billion as the sum in contention for which the committee recommended that the process of recovery should be made. The external auditors and any government functionaries who served in the subsidy regime will be further interviewed to determine their roles if any in the issues that were discussed.
“I think Mr. President has demonstrated unique wisdom in constituting very strong technocrats in the presidential committee. The reality is without the type of experience you see in some of the ladies and gentlemen that are here drawn from the CBN, attorney-general’s office, SSS, banks and so on; it will be quite difficult and challenging for a layman to even understand how these issues arose and to even put up a case that will be successful in the court of law.
“Nigerians will begin to see the federal government take action that is visible having gone through the invisible hard work of putting together the cases against those who may have misbehaved in the fuel subsidy programme.”
On the recovery of the looted funds, he said: “There is a number of options. The first is to determine whether you have some of the subsidy payments due still within the banking system in the possession of those who illegally collected them.
“There are other powers that the federal government has with respect to transactions that are ongoing and claims that such people may have for additional fuel subsidies – that is another source of recovery. We have also looked at one or two interesting enabling laws that allow the federal government to take certain steps we will not mention now.”
For his part, AGF Mohammed Adoke explained that the report was not different from what the EFCC or the House of Representatives was already working on. The report only complemented the ones on ground, he said.
9 FIRMS INDICTED SO FAR
Nasama Oil Services
Eterna Oil & Gas Plc Ontario Oil & Gas Plc Nadabo Energy Ltd
Pacific Silver Line LtdAxenergy Ltd
Fago Petroleum & Gas Ltd
Integrated Resources Ltd
Pinnacle Oil & Gas
via Leadership NG