N1.5Bn Subsidy Scam: PMS Imported Through Dead Vessel
A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Alhaji Saminu Rabiu, Jubril Rowaye, Alminnur Resources Limited and Brila Energy Limited who are alleged to be involved in a N1.5billion Subsidy scam, Tolu Olanubi on Monday April 15, 2013 told the court that MT KRITI, the vessel allegedly used by the accused persons in shipping Premium Motor Spirit to Nigeria in 2011 had ceased to exist since 2010.
Led in evidence by EFCC counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, Olanubi, an investigator with the EFCC told the court that, in the course of the investigation, a relationship was established between the EFCC and Lloyd’s List Intelligence, an organization that provides information on vessels, ownership of vessels, movement and location of vessels. She said the EFCC subscribed to the website of Lloyd’s List Intelligence where it was discovered that MT KRITI which was purportedly used to ship in Premium Motor Spirit on June 14, 2011 had ceased to exist and declared “Status: Dead.” She also told the court that the last place of location of the vessel was Gadani Beach in Pakistan.
“It is not possible for the vessel to have sailed into Nigeria on June 14, 2011 since it was reported dead on 17th April 2010”, she further told the court. She also told the court that the vessel had changed its name from KRITI to AKIT before it ceased to exist.
She later demonstrated to the court, using a projector and a Laptop Computer attached with an internet modem, how she arrived at her facts.
However, Ajibola Oloyede, counsel to the 2nd and 4th defendants, challenged the admissibility of the documents saying it was generated through a computer. He alleged that the documents did not meet the procedure of tending such documents as stated in the Evidence Act. “It is not for the witness to say it was printed from the computer, the document printed should have all the
information of how it was produced”.
However, counsel to EFCC objected, saying the documents are relevant and that enough foundation was laid in compliance with the Evidence Act. “The documents speak for itself. The date and time the documents were printed is on the face of the documents. As to the issue of certification, the Evidence Act did not prescribe the form or mode of certification. So the way it is certified should suffice,” he declared. Justice Adebukola Banjoko upheld the documents.
Justice Banjoko had earlier dismissed an application by the 2nd accused person in which he sought to have his travelling document returned to him on the grounds that he wanted to travel abroad for medical treatment. Justice Banjoko in his ruling said though there was a letter purportedly written by a medical practitioner backing the accused that he had a complicated heart problem, there was however
no sufficient proof that the case cannot be treated in Nigeria.
The EFCC had on October 17, 2011 arraigned the quartet for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of Nigeria by submitting forged document and making false claims from the Petroleum Support Fund, as subsidy payment to Alminnur Resources Limited. They were said to have conspired to obtain the over N1.5 billion from the Federal Government of Nigeria as subsidy for the purported importation of 19,000 MT of PMS.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
15th April, 2013
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