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Tukur’s Son, Others Re-arraigned For N1.8bn Subsidy Fraud



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned Mahmud Tukur, son of Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; and others for alleged N1.8bn fuel subsidy fraud before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.
Others who were charged with Mahmud are Alex Ochonogor, their firm, Eterna Plc; and Abdullahi Alao, who is a  son of an Ibadan-based businessman, Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao.

The re-arraignment took place before Justice Lawal Lawal-Akapo. It followed the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, out of the Criminal Division of the Lagos State Judiciary.
The accused persons were initially arraigned before Justice Onigbanjo on July 26, 2012.

All the accused again on Monday pleaded not guilty to the nine counts of conspiracy and fraud preferred against them by the EFCC.
After the defendants took their plea, Lawal-Akapo ruled that the accused be allowed to continue enjoying the earlier bail granted them by Onigbanjo.
Onigbanjo had among other conditions on July 26, 2012 granted bail to the accused in the sum of N20m each.

EFCC, through its prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Jacobs alleged that the defendants had between January and April 2011 in Lagos,  fraudulently obtained the sum of N1.8bn from the Federal Government under the fuel subsidy scheme.
The commission alleged that the defendants had fraudulently obtained the money from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 80.3 million litres of petrol.

The commission also alleged that the accused persons forged a bill of lading dated April 28, 2011, which was used to facilitate the fraud.
The accused persons’ alleged offences were said to have contravened Sections 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006.

Jacobs said it also contravened Sections 467 and 468 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel, Mr. Olaniran Obele, informed the court on Monday that his clients had filed notices of preliminary objection against the charges.
The court adjourned till February 24 for hearing of the application.

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