21 December 2012

Nigeria: Alleged N1.3 Billion Subsidy Fraud - Two Oil Marketers Seek Out of Court Settlement

Two oil marketers, Aro Bamidele and Abiodun Bankole, on Friday said they were in talks with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), regarding the N1.3 billion fuel subsidy charge preferred against them.

They made this known through their counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), at the resumption of their trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the oil marketers were arraigned alongside their company -- A.B.S Investment Company Ltd., -- on Oct. 5.

The defendants are facing 18- count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery, uttering among others.

The EFCC had alleged that the defendants had fraudulently obtained N1.3 billion from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

They had pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted a N100 million bail each, with three sureties in like sum.

However, during Friday's proceedings, Idigbe told the court that the defence, having studied the charge, was discussing with EFCC.

He asked the court to give the defendants time to conclude their talks with EFCC in order to resolve issues contained in the charge.

EFCC counsel, Mrs Taiwo Ogunleye, confirmed the development and did not oppose the adjournment made by the defence.

NAN reports that the judge consequently adjourned the matter till Jan. 28 for mention. (NAN)

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