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Court adjourns 2 oil marketers’ N1.8bn fraud case

An Ikeja Special Offences Court has reserved until Sept.13 to deliver judgment in the case of two oil marketers, Ogbor Eliot and Kelvin Chris, charged with attempted N1.8bn oil fraud.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case until Sept.13 for judgment, following the adoption of the final written address of the counsels.

The defendants are standing trial alongside a company, Danium Energy Services Ltd on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretense.

At today’s proceedings, in adopting the final written addresses, the counsels to the defendants unanimously prayed the court to discharge and acquit their respective clients, as they urged the court to hold that the prosecution had not proven the case against them.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, in adopting his final written address, urged the court to dismiss the arguments of the defence, arguing that they lacked merit and to convict them as charged.

EFCC had alleged that the defendants and the company had attempted to fraudulently deceived Sterling Bank Plc into lending them money through a fraudulent scheme on the pretext to finance Local Purchase Order, (LPO) for 20,000 Metric Tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, for supply to Total Nigeria Ltd.

The prosecution submitted that the defendants and the company had sometime in February 2016 in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst themselves to obtain the sum of N1.8 billion by false pretence from Sterling Bank Plc.

EFCC also alleged the defendants, with intent to defraud, induced Sterling Bank Plc to deliver to Danium Energy Services Ltd the total sum of N1.8 billion under the false pretence that Total Nigeria Plc vide Purchase Orders (PO) with Reference No. OPS/SUP/02/16/330 and OPS/SUP/02/331 dated Feb.3 2016, contracted Danium Energy Services Ltd to supply 20,000 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in two tranches of 10,000 metric tons each valued at the aggregate sum of N2.3 billion.

The defendants, had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution said the alleged offences contravened Section 1(1) (a) (b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

Reporting by Wahab Akinlade, Editing by Omotola Oguneye