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EFCC uncovers N70b fuel subsidy fraud cases



Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said the commission had identified about N70 billion fraud perpetrated through Federal Government’s fuel subsidy programme.

He said only about N20 billion of the money had been recovered by the agency.

Bawa said this yesterday while addressing reporters at the Ikeja High Court in Lagos after testifying in an alleged N1.4 billion fuel subsidy trial involving an oil firm, Nadabo Energy.

The EFCC chairman expressed worry at the slow pace of some fuel subsidy trials.

He promised that the commission would continue to rigorously pursue all its cases in court.

Bawa added that the EFCC was working to arrest an alleged fuel subsidy suspect, Seun Ogunbambo, who was arraigned in 2012 but jumped bail and fled the country.

Also, Bawa appeared  yesterday before an Ikeja High Court to testify as a prosecution witness in a N1.4 billion oil subsidy fraud case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 40-year-old Bawa was in court to testify in a case involving Nadabo Energy and its Chairman, Abubakar Peters.

The case is one of alleged fraud cases that Bawa investigated when he was an operative of the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency is prosecuting the defendants for allegedly obtaining N1.4 billion from the Federal Government as oil subsidy, using forged documents.

The defendants are also accused of inflating the quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) purportedly supplied to the Federal Government to 14,000 metric tonnes.

Led in evidence by Lead EFCC counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh, Bawa told the court how he investigated the case.

The EFCC boss said he analysed some electronic mail correspondences and found out, contrary to their claims, that the defendants took only approximately six million litres of PMS on board the mother vessel, MT Evriduk, into their own chartered vessel, MT St. Vanessa.

“E-mails further confirmed that the same quantity of PMS (six million litres) was discharged in Port Harcourt. The email also informed us that Mr. Jideofor Akpan was the agent of the vessel (MT St. Vanessa).

Bawa said the EFCC also wrote a letter of investigations of activities to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to confirm the registration status of Nadabo Energy.

He said the CAC forwarded the Certified True Copies (CTCs) of all the documents requested.

During Bawa’s testimony, the EFCC sought to tender the CTCs of the documents it received from Petrocam and the CAC.

But defence counsel, Mr. E. O. Isirameh, objected to it.

Justice Christopher Balogun adjourned the matter till April 28 for ruling and continuation of hearing.

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