22 December 2012

Nigeria: Subsidy Fraud - Oil Marketers Seek Out-of-Court Settlement

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

They made this known through their lawyers, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), at the resumption of their trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the 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 Limited on October 5.

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

The EFCC had alleged that the defendants 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.

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

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

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


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