N789.6m Fraud: Court Sentences Two Oil Marketers To Eight Years Imprisonment   

A State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced two oil marketers – George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah to eight years imprisonment.

They were convicted on a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence and forgery to the tune of N789.6million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Samin Amaddin, in a statement yesterday said the convicts were prosecuted alongside one Adamu Maula, by the anti-graft agency.

They were reported to have imported 10, 862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), for which they were paid the sum of money by the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).

“However, the investigation revealed that the documents used by the defendants were forged,” he said.

Counsels to the defendants, in separate no-case submissions, had urged the court to dismiss the charge against their clients for lack of merit.

However, in the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, presented 11 witnesses, including Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC, and tendered documents in evidence.

In his judgment on January 26, Justice Latifat Okunnu found Ogbonna and Morah guilty and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment each.The judge 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.

In his reaction to the judgment, Jacobs thanked the court for allowing justice to prevail during the course of the trial.