N1.1BN SUBSIDY FRAUD: EFCC, oil marketer differ on diversion of products

September 17, 2014

An oil marketer, Opeyemi Ajuyah, yesterday, faulted the claim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that her company diverted over 10,000 metric tonnes of petrol.

efcc logoAjuyah and her company, Majope Investment Ltd, are being prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court.

They are standing trial alongside another oil marketer, Abdullahi Alao and Olanrewaju Olalusi, a staff of Sterling Bank, over an alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud.efcc-logo-4_01-300x247[1]

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a prosecution witness, Mr Effa Okim, had on May 27 testified that the defendants had claimed that they imported 15,000 metric tonnes of petrol for which he collected a subsidy.

Okim, an EFCC Investigative Officer, said it was later discovered that the ship, MT Brave, only discharged 4,264 metric tonnes at the Lister Jetty in Apapa, Lagos.

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

However, while cross-examining Okim on Tuesday, Ajuyah’s counsel, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku, argued that the EFCC failed to do a thorough investigation of the transaction.

Ajanaku tendered a statement written to the EFCC by an independent auditor, Mr Ezekiel Ejidele, who supervised the transaction.

He said Ejidele, a staff of Akintola Williams Delloite Auditing Firm, confirmed that 15,000 metric tonnes of petrol was discharged at the jetty.

The statement was admitted by the court as Exhibit P40.

Ajanaku also argued that the discharge certificates signed by the other surveyors, Q and Q Survey Ltd. and Petroma Logistics Ltd, also revealed a discharge of 15,000 metric tonnes.

The case has been adjourned till September 19 for continuation of trial.