N1.3 billion subsidy fraud: Prosecution files amended charge against 2 marketers

A petrol station used to illustrate the story
A petrol station used to illustrate the story

The suspects opposed the new charges

The police on Thursday filed an amended charge against two oil marketers, Chinyerem Nweze and Olaniran Ogundipe, in a N1.3 billion oil subsidy fraud suit.

The accused, charged by the police alongside their companies, Geacan Energy Ltd. and Petroleum Brokers Ltd., had been facing a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy and fraud in a Federal High Court, Lagos.

They had been arraigned on September19, 2013 and had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When the case was mentioned on Thursday, the prosecutor, Dania Abdullahi, informed the court of an amended charge against the accused and applied for their pleas to be taken.

The defence, however, raised objection to the amendment, arguing that it was baseless.

Justice Musa Kurya, in a short ruling, adjourned the case to February 19 to take arguments on the objection raised to the amended charge.

The accused were alleged to have committed the offence between January and April 2011.

They were alleged to have fraudulently obtained N1.32 billion from the Federal Government under the pretext of importing about 18,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

According to the prosecutor, the accused forged a consolidated Hallmark Marine Insurance Certificate with which they perpetrated the fraud as they did not import the products.

The offence is said to contravene the provisions of Sections 1(1), 1(2), 3 (1), 8 (a), and 10 (1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Cap. A6, Laws of the Federation 2004.

The offence is also said to contravene the provisions of Section 467 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation 2004.

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