How Nigerian billionaire travelled to Europe despite passport seizure – EFCC

EFCC Operatives
EFCC Operatives

Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos State High court, sitting in Ikeja, on Friday adjourned proceedings in the case of conspiracy, obtaining property by false pretence, forgery and uttering false documents brought against Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi Ebenezer and their company, Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The case was adjourned to October 14.

The adjournment followed fiery exchanges between the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, and counsel to the first defendant, Mr. Onyeke, over the continued absence of Walter Wagbatsama from trial.

Mr. Jacobs had filed an application urging the court to continue proceedings without the first defendant whom he said had absconded from justice.

He noted that despite the court being in possession of the first defendant’s international passport, he still travelled out of the country to four countries – France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany – with four different passports claiming to be critically ill without informing the court.

He said the conduct of the accused contravened section 2(1) and section 352(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Mr. Jacobs further told the court that the first defendant was arrested in Germany by United Kingdom authorities, extradited and placed on house arrest for unconcluded criminal charges.

He urged the court to continue proceedings without the first defendant and to compel the defence counsel to produce Dr. Amodu, the physician who referred the first defendant to Germany for medical treatment.

Mr. Onyeke dismissed the submission by the prosecution on the whereabouts of the first defendant as mere market-place gossip, adding that his client had not absconded from justice but merely travelled to Germany for medical treatment.

However, Mr. Onyeke confirmed that his client was arrested in Germany by UK authorities only on suspicion, and that temporary admission had been issued to his client by the UK Home Office and had not been charged with any offence.

The defence counsel could however not oppose continuation of proceedings without the first defendant as submitted by the prosecution but said the prosecution failed to understand the difference between misconduct and a clear reason beyond the control of his client to attend proceedings.

The defendants had on July 7, 2010 allegedly obtained N340million by false pretence from the Federal Government, purporting the money to be fuel subsidy accruals payable to Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.


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  • Realitytalk

    He should be dealt with they found him

  • Arabakpura

    That guy used to boast about his closeness to the Jonathans!

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    “… despite the court being in possession of the first defendant’s international passport, he still travelled out of the country to four countries namely, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany with four different passports …..”

    REALLY?

    That is Nigeria for you! What a disaster of a country. What can money not do in this Niger?

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      Yes, something is really wrong somewhere. Somebody guaranteed his bail, why is the guarantor not arrested, or at least, invited by EFCC or the court? Instead the infamous Plummy merely adjourned the case! Now I know EFCC is really fighting corruption. Mtcheeeeew!

    • Carlos

      Before you crucify our NIS, are you aware that Nigerians travel abroad with passports from neighbouring West African countries? It is practically impossible to obtain a second passport with different identities in Nigeria.

  • Galantman

    The Nigerian Immigration is stinking with curruption that is why one person can have several passports. The FEW criminals and fools at immigration are endangering national security because even non Nigerians get passports because it’s simply for sale to the highest bidder. 419, armed robbers , drug pushers simply change there passports with different names when they are deported and resume there dangerous trade that tarnished our image abroad. . Government need to crack down on the passport syndicate in all passport offices nationwide.

    • Carlos

      Before you crucify our NIS, are you aware that Nigerians travel abroad with passports from neighbouring West African countries?

      • Galantman

        The story did NOT say he travelled with a passport from a neighboring country . I know you are one of them but we ALL,know that passports are for sale in Nigeria. No need to hide the truth, the passport racket must be dismantled. I know immigration officers who are fine officers with integrity, but We must STOP supporting criminality that is affecting us badly.

  • Umar

    Imaging how desperate the defence lawyer is trying to defend him who absconded from justice. Yes, we understand the law better withou the lawyers, especially in Naija.

  • Sanssouci

    Nigeria is an unbelievable place….I thought that your biometric data is captured into a database before u get a passport, so theortically, your biometric details are unique to you and having a passport with another name is impossible as the system should detect a duplication attempt inside the database for any subsequent passport ?? Probabaly a fake database disconnected that doesn’t do realtime identification SMH…. another subsidy suspect, Seun Ogunbambo also quietly used 1 of his numerous passports and quietly flew away to be heard of no more, despite a preponderance of evidence that he had a history of jumping bail and was a huge flight risk. Had it not been that Wagbatsoma was on the UK’s radar, it would have been bye bye Nigeria till the heat is off. Immigration, EFCC, Judiciary are making a mockery of our justice system. In Nigeria to evade justice just find a comfortable place abroad sit tight, behave and wait out Buhari’s term, u remain untouchable despite all of EFCC’s huffing and puffing unless you shoot yourself in the foot and decide to sneak back to town a la Dudafa. The smart ones like Adoke, Adamu Muazu, Obanikoro, Kola Aluko can never commit such a careless amateurish mistake, and will therefore continue enjoying their loot unperturbed. Nigeria I hail thee, Happy 56th birthday.

  • Ibukun Bandele

    Unbelievable, this can only happen in an under developed and very corrupt country like mine, wow, Nigeria, we hail!!!

  • McAlfred Uta

    The crux of the matter is high level corruption in Immigration otherwise how did he obtain the other passports he travelled with without any explanation on what happened to the unexpired passport in the custody of the Court.

    • Carlos

      Before you crucify our NIS, are you aware that Nigerians travel abroad with passports from neighbouring West African countries? Please don’t rubbish our passport database.

  • Braithwaite Umenta

    He noted that despite the court being in possession of the first defendant’s international passport, he still travelled out of the country to four countries – France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany – with four different passports…..This writer should explain more, i don’t get it, these countries are Shengen countries and with one Shengen Visa you can travel to the four countries, how come he used 4 passports?, I as a common man Travelled to Lithuania, Netherlands and Germany with one Visa…. so i don’t understand why he used four passports…..may be to disguise himself and evade arrest.

  • Chi

    Always said a Daniel has come to Judgement. Corruption is deeply entrenched and I doubt PMB can scratch the surface in his lifetime