Fuel subsidy scam, court grants bail to indicted marketers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Eight oil marketers allegedly involved in the fuel subsidy scam have been granted bail.

 

Judges of the Lagos High Court have granted bail to eight oil marketers standing trial for illegally receiving dubious sums of money under the Petrol Subsidy scheme.

The eight marketers and their companies were arraigned on October 5 for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of N3.7 billion.

One of the two judges, Habeeb Abiru, granted two of the accused – Aro Bamidele and Abiodun Bankole- bail in the sum of N100 million each with three sureties each in like sum. The sureties must be resident in Lagos, gainfully employed and should depose to an affidavit of means, showing that they could meet the bail bond.

He said that two of the sureties for each of the defendants must own landed property in Lagos State while the other surety must be a director in a quoted company in Nigeria. He also ordered that the sureties produce three years’ tax clearance certificates, and that the documents be verified by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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Mr. Abiru also granted bail to Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu and Ngozi Ekeoma in the sum of N75 million each with two sureties in like sum. He also granted bail to Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah in the sum of N50 million each with two sureties in like sum.

He directed that the sureties must be gainfully employed, should depose to an affidavit of means and own landed property in Lagos State worth, at least, N50 million. The judge ordered the sureties to produce three years’ tax clearance certificates. She also ordered the accused persons to deposit their international passports with the court’s Chief Registrar.

The second judge, Lateefa Okunnu, ordered the defendants to deposit their international passports and other travelling documents with the court’s Chief Registrar.

She ordered the defendants not to travel out of Nigeria without the court’s permission and ensure they report to the EFCC office once a month throughout the duration of the trial.

The eight persons were alleged to have conspired to forge, fraudulently altered documents and obtained over N3 billion from the Federal government purporting the said sum to be payment for subsidy under the Petroleum Support Fund.

They all pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Abiru adjourned the case he is presiding over to November 26, 28 and 29 for trial, while Ms. Okunnu adjourned hers to November 22, 27 & 28.

The accused persons are to remain in EFCC Custody until they perfect their bail terms.

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