12 November 2012

Nigeria: Oil Subsidy Scam - EFCC Arraigns Five More Suspects

Abuja — Powerful cartel reaping off the fortune of the nation in the oil sector, appears to be losing the fight to halt their prosecution, as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will today arraign five more of suspects over the looting of over N5.4 billion under the guise of fuel supply.

Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that the suspects, who are to be tried before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court, comprise one oil company and four persons, who were allegedly implicated in the oil scam.

The company to be tried this time by the EFCC is Nasaman Oil Services Limited, while the individuals are Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Olabisi Abdul-Afeez, who is said to be at large.

They are all accused of obtaining N5.46 billion from the Federal Government by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to them under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 61,049,937.00 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

One of the 13-count charges being slammed on the suspects read: That "Nasaman Oil Services Ltd, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Olabisi Abdul-Afeez (still at large) between 2010 and 2012 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud conspired to obtain the sum of N2.23bn from the Federal Government by falsely claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to Nasaman Oil Services Ltd under the PSF for the importation of 30,524,968.50 litres of PMS, which Nasaman Oils Services Ltd purported to have purchased from SEATAC Petroleum Ltd of British Virgin Islands and imported into Nigeria through MT Liquid Fortune Ex Mt Overseas Lima, which representation you know to be false.

Last week, an anti-corruption agency protested at the Finance Ministry premises in Abuja, condemning the payment of N2.7 billion to an unregistered company, Pinnacle Contractors, for the purported supply of petroleum products to Nigeria.

The group believes the callous payments of huge funds to spurious groups in the name of subsidy must have been done with the active connivance of top government officials.

But the Ministry fired back at the group, saying that it was sponsored by oil marketers trying to stop their trial.

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