How Nadabo forged bank documents to claim N761 million subsidy payment – Witness

FILE PHOTO: The last attempt to remove fuel subsidy was met with heavy protests across Nigeria.

A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, on Thursday, heard how Nadabo Energy Limited allegedly forged a letter of credit purportedly from Enterprise Bank to claim unearned subsidy for imported fuel.

Abdulrasheed Bawa, the investigating officer, made the disclosure while being led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Seidu Atteh.

Nadabo Energy Limited is standing trial over a N761million unearned fuel subsidy claim.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Justice C. A. Balogun admitted as exhibit, a letter of credit for $17,205,000 purportedly issued on October 27, 2011 by Enterprise Bank Plc in favour of Ashland S.A Energy, a company where the product was allegedly purchased.

Mr. Bawa had told the court, at the last hearing of the case, how investigation by the EFCC uncovered a letter of credit for the sum of $17,205,000 in favour of Ashland S.A Energy. He stated that the discovery was triggered by some contradictions in the sense that, the bill for collection contradicted the letter of credit.

The defense counsel, Emefo Etudo, had objected the admissibility of the document, arguing that the letter was not addressed to the witness but a director in EFCC. However, Atteh pointed out that the document was relevant and since EFCC is a corporate body, any officer from the team that investigated the case, can give evidence in the matter.

Justice Balogun on Thursday upheld Atteh’s submissions and admitted the document as exhibit G.

Giving further evidence on Thursday, Mr. Bawa told the court that upon careful study of the response to exhibit G, which was received from Enterprise Bank, it was discovered that there are two letters of credit (LC) all purportedly issued by the bank, bearing the same reference number: SPG/DLC/11/0013. One letter of credit is for the importation of 4780 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, raised by Nadabo energy Limited in favour of Petrocam Trading (PTY) limited, while a letter of credit for the sum of $17,205,000 was raised on October 27, 2011 in favour of Ashland S.A Energy a company where the product was allegedly purchased. Another letter of credit was also purportedly raised by Nadabo Energy for importation of14000 (Fourteen thousand) Metric tons of PMS for Ashsland Limited.

He also told the court that Enterprise Bank confirmed that the second letter of credit purportedly issued by them in Favour of Ashsland Limited was forged and that the first letter of credit issued in favour of Petrocam Trading Limited was the genuine letter of credit issued to Nadabo Energy.

He further explained that, based on the disclosures by the bank, the EFCC wrote to the bank, asking for the shipping documents in respect of the genuine letter of credit, which were delivered to the Commission.

Justice Balogun adjourned the matter to 6 April, 2016 for continuation of trial.

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