EFCC re-arraigns former PDP chairman’s son for alleged oil subsidy fraud
By Adenike Ayodele
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned Mamman Ali, son of a former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ahmadu Ali, for alleged N2.2 billion oil subsidy fraud.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ali was re-arraigned alongside one Christian Taylor and a company, Nasaman Oil Services Ltd. before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The defendants were arraigned on an amended 49-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretences, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of false documents.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
Following their plea, EFCC counsel, Mr Samuel Atteh, prayed the court for a trial date to enable prosecution to call its witnesses and tender necessary documents to prove the case.
Defence counsel, Mr Kolade Obafemi prayed the court to allow the defendants to continue on the bail earlier granted them.
“We crave your lordship’s indulgence that the bail granted to the defendants be allowed to continue,” he said.
The EFCC counsel, however, submitted that the most paramount for prosecution was defendants’ attendance in court to face trial.
“Our interest is that the defendants attend trial; so, we leave the decision about bail to the discretion of this honourable court,” Atteh said.
The defence counsel could not immediately present the defendants’ bail papers to the court.
The judge consequently ordered that the defendants should be remanded at the EFCC custody pending presentation of the bail papers and a formal application for their bail.
Dada adjourned the case until May 30 for trial.
NAN reports that the defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo.
However, Onigbanjo withdrew from the case on health grounds, prompting reassignment of the case to Dada.
The EFCC, in one of the counts, alleged that the defendants, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain N750 million from the Federal Government by falsely representing subsidy accruing to Nasaman Oil Services Ltd. under the Petroleum Support Fund for importation of 10,031,986 litres of Premium Motor Spirit which Nasaman Oil Services Ltd. purported to have purchased from SEATAC Petroleum Ltd. of British Virgin Islands and imported into Nigeria through MT Liquid Fortune Ltd.
The commission said that the defendants knew that the representation was false.
According to the commission, the defendants committed the offences with one Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and one Olabisi Abdul-Afeez still at large, on Nov. 9 , 2011, in Ikeja.
The alleged offences contravene Sections 1(3), 8 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006, and Sections 363 (3)(1) and 264 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.