Court jails two oil mar­keters eight years for N789.6m fraud

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Matthew Ogune, Abuja

ALAGOS High Court in Ikeja has sen­tenced two oil mar­keters to eight years im­pris­on­ment.

Jus­tice Lat­i­fat Okunnu con­victed them, George Og­bonna and Em­manuel Mo­rah, on a 26-count amended charge bor­der­ing on con­spir­acy.

The charges also in­cluded ob­tain­ing by false pre­tence and forgery amount­ing to N789.6mil­lion. The con­victs, who are own­ers of Rocky En­ergy Lim­ited, were pros­e­cuted along­side one Adamu Maula, who owns Down­stream En­ergy Sources Lim­ited.

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) had charged them on the o f fen ce s .

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, the con­victs im­ported 10, 862 met­ric tonnes of Pre­mium Mo­tor Spirit (PMS), for which the Pe­tro­leum Sup­port Fund (PSF) paid them. In­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that the doc­u­ments used by the de­fen­dants in the trans­ac­tions were forged Coun­sels to the de­fen­dants, in separate no-case sub­mis­sions, had urged the court to dis­miss the charges against their clients for lack of merit.

But, the pros­e­cu­tion coun­sel, Ro­timi Ja­cobs (SAN), pre­sented 11 wit­nesses, in­clud­ing Ab­dul­rasheed Bawa, an in­ves­ti­ga­tor with the EFCC, and also ten­dered some doc­u­ments in ev­i­dence.

Jus­tice Okunnu found Og­bonna and Mo­rah guilty and sen­tenced them to the terms of im­pris­on­ment e a c h . The judge also or­dered the con­victs to re­turn the money they fraud­u­lently col­lected to the Fed­eral Govern­ment .

Maula and his com­pany, Down­stream En­ergy Sources Lim­ited, were, how­ever, dis­charged and ac­quit­ted by the court.

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