The auditing firm relied on third party accounts.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, and an audit firm, Akintola Williams Deloitte, gave the Federal Government inflated figures of the volume of petrol imported, thereby misleading the government to overpay the oil marketers for 16 million litres of petrol
Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi, Fakuade Babafemi, Ezekiel Ejidele and their firm, Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd are facing trial before Justice Lateefat Okunnu for alleged N1.9bn subsidy fraud.
At the ongoing trial on Friday, the anti-graft agency said that the PPPRA and Akintola Williams Deloitte, the Federal Government-appointed auditor for the fuel subsidy scheme, were supposed to supervise the ship-to-ship transfer of the petrol up to the point where it is discharged in Nigeria.
Although both organisations were meant to recommend to the Federal Government what ought to be paid to oil marketers based on the volume of fuel discharged in Nigeria, they relied on third party accounts and ended up inflating the figures.
“Akintola Williams Deloitte, which is the government appointed-auditor that was supposed to guide the Federal Government recommended the inflated amount, sent one Danjuma to witness the Ship to Ship Transfer,” said Shehu Mohammed, EFCC’s second witness. “But he left after the arrival haulage of MT Union Brave vessel. He did not witness the discharging of the product at the depot. The government-appointed auditor relied on the document supplied by third party instead of being at the ship to ship transfer up to the point of discharge at the tank farm.”
Mr. Mohammed, led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, the EFCC counsel, said that the actual discharging of the product is what was supposed to be the basis for paying subsidy.
“Mr. Fakuade, sent by PPPRA, only witnessed the arrival haulage of the daughter vessel but did not witness the actual discharging,” Mr. Mohammed said.
Ms. Okunnu adjourned till July 25 for cross-examination of the witness.
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