N1.1bn subsidy fraud: Court admits more exhibits in oil marketers' trial

N1.1bn subsidy fraud: Court admits more exhibits in oil marketers' trial

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 4:27 pm

Ikeja – An Ikeja High Court on Tuesday admitted more exhibits in the trial of an oil marketer, Opeyemi Ajuyah, charged with N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

Ajuyah, and her company, Majope Investment Ltd., are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Lateefat Okunnu.

They are standing trial with Abdullahi Alao, son of Ibadan based business mogul, Alhaji Arisekola Alao and Olanrewaju Olalusi, a staff member of Sterling Bank Plc.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, the court admitted as exhibit, a petition written by Falana and Falana Chambers to the EFCC on behalf of Ajuyah and her company.

The court also admitted the statement of one Mr Adelakun Saheed, a surveyor with General Marine Oil Services Ltd., as exhibit.

Both documents, which were tendered by Ajuyah’s counsel, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku, were admitted as Exhibits P37 and P38 respectively.

Following the development, Ajanaku continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Mr Effa Okim.

Okim, an EFCC investigative officer, told the court that the petition from Falana law firm was received in the course of their investigation into the alleged subsidy fraud.

He said the petition sought to clarify Majope Investment’s position in the importation and discharge of the product at the Lister Jetty in Apapa, Lagos.

According to him, the transaction was financed by Sterling Bank which exercised control over the product from the point of purchase till it was discharged.

On Saheed’s statement, the witness said it showed that 15,000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirits were discharged by the `daughter`’ vessel, MT Brave, at the Lister Jetty.

He said this was contrary to EFCC’s investigation which revealed that the ship only discharged 4,264 metric tonnes and diverted the remaining product to unknown destination.

Okim said the crux of the matter was the diversion of the over 10,000 metric tonnes because the marketers received subsidy payment for the importation of 15,000 metric tonnes.

He, however, admitted that the discharge certificates signed by the other surveyors, Q and Q Survey Ltd. and Petroma Logistics Ltd., also revealed a discharge of 15,000 metric tonnes.

The case was adjourned till Sept. 16 for continuation of trial.


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