Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Subsidy fraud: EFCC withdraws charges against four

Charges of fraud in the fuel subsidy payments against four suspects have been withdrawn by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Those whose charges were withdrawn are Durosola Omogbenigun and Peter Mba along with their firms.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Oyedepo Rotimi, told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that the charge tagged,  ID/122C/2012, was mistakenly instituted against Omogbenigun, his company Integrated Resources Limited, and Mba and his  Pinnacle Oil and Gas firm.

The EFCC had alleged that they conspired on different occasions to fraudulently collect over N2bn from the Federal Government under the Petroleum Support Fund, purporting the money to be payments for importing certain liters of petrol.

The four were charged with four counts of conspiracy to obtain and obtaining property by false pretences. The anti-graft body said the offences were contrary to Section 8  and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006. However, Mr. Oyedepo Rotimi said he was instructed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to withdraw the case. According to Rotimi, the EFCC found out after a review that the suspects did not commit the offence for which they were to be arraigned.

Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson struck out the charge following an application by the EFCC.

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