N1.8bn Fraud: Oil Marketers Knows Fate September 13

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja will on September 13 deliver judgment in the trial of two oil marketers, Ogbor Eliot and Kelvin Chris, accused of an alleged N1.8 billion oil fraud.

Justice Taiwo fixed the date for judgment after lawyers to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and those of the defendants adopted their final written addresses.

The defendants were arraigned before the court alongside a company, Danium Energy Services Ltd on a five-count charge of conspiracy, forgery, and obtaining money under false pretence.

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They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

While adopting their clients final written addresses, the defence counsels unanimously prayed the court to discharge and acquit defendants, as they urged the court to hold that the prosecution had failed to proved the essential elements of the allegations against them.

But the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss the arguments of the defence, stating that the arguments lacked merit.

Oyedepo submitted, “the case against the defendants is such that is very visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.

“I urged the court to take into cognizance that the defendants created an impression that Total Nigeria Plc issued to them local purchase order reference numbers 330 and 331 for the supply of AGO.

“These two local purchase orders gave the impression that Total Nigeria Plc contracted the third defendant to supply to it 10,000 metric tons per each of those LPOs for a particular sum.

“And so, the third defendant, armed with these LPOs, contracted a new generation bank to finance the purported documents emanating from Total.

“The prosecution has shown to my lord, that the LPOs were forged, and the original of the documents.

“Also Total had stated that the referenced documents in contention were not issued to the third defendant, ” the maintained.

In the charge, the EFCC had claimed that the defendants and the company had attempted to fraudulently deceive the Bank into lending them money through a fraudulent scheme on the pretext to finance Local Purchase Order, (LPO) for 20,000 Metric Tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, for supply to Total Nigeria Ltd.

The anti-graft agency had also alleged that the defendants and the company had sometime in February 2016 in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst themselves to obtain the sum of N1.8 billion under false pretence from a new generation bank.

EFCC had also told the court that the defendants, with intent to defraud, induced the bank to deliver to Danium Energy Services Ltd the total sum of N1.8 billion under the false pretence that Total Nigeria Plc vide Purchase Orders (PO) with Reference No. OPS/SUP/02/16/330 and OPS/SUP/02/331 dated Feb.3, 2016, contracted Danium Energy Services Ltd to supply 20,000 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in two tranches of 10,000 metric tons each valued at the aggregate sum of N2.3 billion.

The Commission had insisted that offenses contravened Section 1(1) (a) (b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

15th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph