The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, appeared in court on Wednesday to testify in the trial of Abubakar Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited before Justice Setondo Ogunsanya of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.
Abubakar and his company are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over 21 charges bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, diversion of Federal Government funds, and forgery to the tune of N761,628,993.84, contrary to Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act, 2006.
Abdulrasheed Bawa
One of the counts reads, “Nadabo Energy Limited and Abubakar Peters, on or about the 26th day of September, 2011 in Lagos fraudulently obtained the sum of N761,628,993.84 from the Federal Government by falsely presenting that the sum represented the subsidy accrued to Nadabo Energy Ltd under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 16,808,064 litres of Premium Motor Spirit which Nadabo Energy Ltd purported to have purchased from Delano Petroleum Corporation Akara Tortola British Virgin Island, and transported the 16,808,064 litres through MT Gotland Carolina (mother vessel) and MT Sonia (daughter vessel) to Nigeria, whereas Nadabo Energy Ltd only imported 7,953,962 litres of PMS from Delano Petroleum Corporation Akara Tortola British Virgin Island and transported 7,953,962 litres of PMS through MT Gotland Carolina (mother vessel) and MT Songa (daughter vessel) to Nigeria.”
The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges when he was arraigned on October 7, 2015, prompting the commencement of his trial.
At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, Bawa continued his examination-in-chief as the second prosecution witness.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, S.K. Atteh, the prosecution through the witness, tendered in evidence several documents.
Atteh said, “In 2015, we received a complaint from the then minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, alleging fraud in the importation of PMS by Nadabo and equally received a petition from Falana & Falana Chambers dated 17th of January 2012.”
Thereafter, Bawa told the court that a special team had been constituted by the EFCC to probe the subsidy regime.
He said, “The first port of call was the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency. After meeting with the PPPRA, the defendant was among many involved in importing petroleum.
“Based on intelligence from the PPPRA, we set out to get more intelligence. All the banks involved were written to, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Debt Management Office, Nigeria Port Authorities, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Navy, and many other companies involved in dealing with Nadabo Energy Ltd.
“We invited all marketers to come forward with the documents they submitted to the PPPRA. In this particular case, we wrote to him and his company inviting them to bring forward all documents submitted. On 28th January 2012, he came to our office and I personally interviewed him.”
Bawa then stated that the PPPRA was contacted to furnish the EFCC with the certified true copies of all documents submitted to it by the defendant.
He said, “They responded in writing attaching the documents submitted by the defendant.
When we received it, we compared it with the ones he submitted to us and found out that he claimed that he imported 6,000 MT each with two Letters of Credit financed by Spring Bank Plc, which was not the case.”
Bawa told the court that in the course of the investigation which began in 2012, the EFCC had several correspondences with the DMO, the PPPRA, the Enterprise Bank, the Corporate Affairs Commission, Staco Insurance Company, Delaney Petroleum Corporation, Skye Bank, and Q & Q Services Nigeria Limited.
Bawa also said Abubakar was invited to the EFCC and he gave statements on January 28, 2012 and February 8, 2012.
As Atteh sought to tender the statements, Isiramen raised objections arguing that Abubakar was detained in EFCC custody and subjected to inhuman conditions.
Atteh, however, told the court that the defendant was never subjected to inhuman treatment and that the statement was not a confessional statement.
Subsequently, the trial judge dismissed the application and marked them as Exhibit P26 and P27.
The case was adjourned till November 1 and 2 for cross-examination of the witness.

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