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Monday, May 20, 2024

Ex-PDP chairman’s son, others re-arraigned by EFCC for N2.2bn oil subsidy fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought Mamman Ali, one of the sons of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmadu Ali, before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Friday for an alleged N2.2 billion oil subsidy fraud. Ali was arraigned alongside Christian Taylor and Nasaman Oil Services Limited on an amended 49-count charge of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, obtaining money by false pretences, and use of false documents.

The EFCC counsel, S.K. Atteh, informed Justice Mojisola Dada that the offences were contrary to Section 8 and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006. He also maintained that the offence of forgery is contrary to Section 363 (3)(j) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and use of false documents contrary to Section 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

Initially, the defendants were standing trial before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja. However, Justice Onigbanjo withdrew from the case on health grounds, prompting the re-assignment of the case to Justice Dada. Following their pleas, the prosecutor urged the court for a trial date to enable the anti-graft agency to call its witnesses and tender necessary documents to prove the case against the defendants.

The defence counsel, Kolade Obafemi, applied to the court to allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the bail already granted to them by Justice Onigbanjo. “We crave your lordship’s indulgence that the existing bail granted to the defendants be allowed to continue,” he said. In response, Atteh noted that what was most paramount for the prosecution was the attendance of the defendants to face trial.

The defendants were remanded in EFCC custody until the bail papers were presented to the court and a formal application for their bail was filed. The case has been adjourned till May 29 to 31, 2023, for trial. The allegations against the defendants involve a significant sum of money, and the EFCC is likely to pursue the case vigorously to ensure justice is served

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