Fuel subsidy fraud: Appeal Court reverses conviction of Ontario Oil and Gas boss, others

WALTER WAGBATSOMA 1
Walter Wagbatsoma with officials of the EFCC

A Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday discharged the directors of Ontario Oil and Gas who were convicted for fuel subsidy fraud last year.

A High Court in Lagos had found Walter Wagbatsoma, Adaoha Ugo-Nnadi, and Ontario Oil and Gas guilty on eight counts of fuel subsidy fraud.

While Mrs. Ugo-Nnadi, the managing director of the company, was sentenced to seven years in prison; Mr. Wagbatsoma, the chairman, who was under house arrest in the UK over money laundering allegations, was convicted in absentia.

Reading the appellate court’s decision on Friday, Haruna Garba, one of the judges, while upturning the sentencing held that the grounds upon which the appellants were convicted were faulty because Mr. Wagbatsoma’s charges were not severed before the conviction.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had accused the firm of collecting N942 million as subsidy payment instead of N602 million.

Details later…

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