Four people, alleged to be members of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Verification, who allegedly received gratification from Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., on Wednesday appeared in court on a three-count charge of bribery.
The committee members were docked at a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, along with three executives of the oil company, who allegedly offered them N1.5 million as gratification.
The committee members are: Buhari Ganiyu (37), Alalade Abioye (30), Oni Oluwanishola (34) and Chukwujekwu Akabueze, whose age was not stated.
Though prosecutors believe the suspects are members of the Presidential Committee, their names are not included in the 15 man presidential committee officially announced by the presidency, neither were their names in the final report of the committee. The committee however worked with several consultants and experts not included in the 15-man committee.
Their alleged accomplices from the Integrated Oil and Gas are: the Managing Director, Anthony Ihenacho, 57; Assistant General Manager, Humphrey Nwosu, 44; and Financial Controller, Akinwusi Julius, 50.
All the defendants are standing trial for alleged conspiracy, offering and receiving of gratification. They, however, pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor, Asuquo Effiong, said the company executives had, on August 30, at the company’s office at Marine Road, Apapa, given the money to the committee as gratification.
He said the committee members were being prosecuted for receiving the money in order to refrain from exercising their duties according to the rules.
Mr. Effiong said the offences contravened Sections 409, 64, and 63 (1) (a) (b) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The magistrate, Martins Owumi, earlier turned down their bail application on personal recognition, and later granted each of them bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the case till November 10 for further hearing.