N1.1bn subsidy fraud: Court summons EFCC witness

by MATTHEW IRINOYE on Sep 30, 2014

Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja, yesterday issued a witness summon against a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Engineer Kehinde Akinmoloyan, who is a prosecution witness in the on-going trial of an oil marketer, Opeyemi Ajuyah, over the alleged subsidy fraud.

It would be recalled that, Ajuyah and her company, Majope Investment are standing trial alongside another oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao and his company Axe Energy Nigeria Limited and a staff of Sterling Bank Plc, Olanrewaju Olalusi, over an alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.

During proceedings, EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that Engineer Akimolayan, has refused to honour invitations to give evidence in the matter. Oyedepo said that the witness had alleged that some persons were after his life.

The lawyer said despite several assurances, the witness remained adamant and has refused to show up before the court to give evidence in the case.

Oyedepo prayed the court to issue a witness summon against the witness before the next trial date. The presiding judge, Justice Okunnu subsequently granted the request and directed the Court Register to issue a summon against the witness.

Earlier, an EFCC witness also an investigative officer Mr Effa Okim, was re-examined on his initial testimony before the court. Okim, had on May 27 testified that the defendants had claimed that they imported 15,000 metric tonnes of PMS and thereafter collected subsidy payment.

The witness said it was later discovered that the ship, MT Brave, only discharged 4,264 metric tonnes at the Lister Jetty in Apapa.

According to him, the remaining product was diverted to an unknown destination which eventually implicated the company in the subsidy fraud.

While cross-examining Okim, counsel to Ajuyah’s, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, told the court that the EFCC has failed to do a thorough investigation of the transaction.

Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till September 30 for further trial.