Marketer forged documents to collect N963.7m subsidy payment, EFCC tells court

The defendant had obtained the money from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday claimed that an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril, did not import the petroleum products for which he received N963.7 million subsidy payment.

The EFCC made the allegation through one of its officers, Lawal Ahmed, at the resumed trial of Mr. Jubril before an Ikeja High Court Judge, Lateefat Okunnu.

Mr. Jubril is being prosecuted alongside his company, Brila Energy Ltd.

Mr. Ahmed, who was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Seidu Atteh, said he was a part of the special team which investigated the fraud in the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme.

He said the defendant had obtained the money from the Federal Government for the purported importation of 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Mr. Ahmed said:”From our investigations, we discovered that some of the documents submitted by Brila Energy to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), which informed the subsidy payment, were forged.

“The documents included Gasoline Analysis and Certificate of Quantity of the Mother Vessel, MT Overseas Lima, which was said to have been issued by Saybolt Nigeria Ltd. It also included Certificate of Quantity and Cargo Manifest of the Daughter Vessel, MT Defilna, which was purportedly issued by Inspectorate Marine Services Ltd.”

He said both companies had denied issuing the documents which Mr. Jubril later used in obtaining the payment from the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Mr. Ahmed said Llyod Lister, an agency which monitors the movement of international vessels, also confirmed that MT Overseas Lima was in Venezuela when the defendant claimed the vessel was being discharged in off-shore Cotonou.

“The products were discharged but not imported into the country as claimed by the defendant. The inspectorate companies, which were purportedly involved in the ship-to-ship transfer, have denied ever participating in the transaction,” he said.

However, the defendant’s counsel, R.A. Oluyede, refuted the claim by the EFCC, arguing that the agency failed to properly investigate the transaction.

Mr. Oluyede, who was cross-examining the witness, maintained that the products were not only imported by his client, but were discharged at Obat tank farm in Lagos.

He said:”The EFCC did not contact Nappa Petroleum in Brazil, which sold the products to the defendant. They did not contact Petro Braz who owned MT Overseas Lima, which transported the products to off-shore Cotonou, before they were discharged to the daughter vessels, MT Defilna and MT Danny.”

Mr. Oluyede said Spring Bank Plc also admitted that they made the off-shore payment for the product to Nappa Petroleum on behalf of the defendant.

“The failure of the EFCC to authenticate these claims shows clearly that they only relied on the Llyod Lister report and the denials of the inspectorate companies to arrive at their conclusions”, he added.

The matter was adjourned till April 8 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)


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