At the serenity of Federal Capital territory High Court on Thursday 30 March, 2017, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officially arraigned Mr. Adegbite Adetoye and Ponnle Abiodun wit Origin Oil and Gas Limited before Hon. Justice Silvanus Orji of the Federal High Court, FCT, Abuja filed 11 counts charges bordering on fraud and abuse of Petroleum Support Fund amounting to the sum of N735 million.
The spokesperson to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that the accused persons conspired and fraudulently obtained the sum of N735, 132, 076.18 from the Federal Government of Nigeria as money meant for the importation of 15,000metric of petrol products which they claim to have purchased from Vitol SA and imported into Nigeria through MT Silverie.
It was disclosed that the parties committed offence contravenes Section 8 (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The count on charge sheet stated, “That you, Adegbite Adetoye and Ponnle Abiodun whilst being directors of Origin Oil and Gas Limited on or about the 8th day of October 2010 to December, 2011 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain the sum of N735, 132, 076.18 From the Federal Government of Nigeria under false pretence that the said sum represented subsidy accruing to you, whereas the sum is above the actual subsidy payment for the importation of 15,000mt of premium motor spirit (petrol) which you claim to have purchased from Vitol SA and imported into Nigeria through MT Silverie which representation you knew to be false.’’
It was also disclosed that the alleged suspects also committed forgery contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
The Registrar of the court called the suit number of the case, and the accused persons entered the dock. The counts on the charge sheet were read to the accused person respectively and they pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the counts of the charges sheets respectively.
After the charge was read to the accused persons; S.I Ameh (SAN), counsel to the defendants, addressed the hon. court that he had a pending bail application before the court and same served on the prosecution.
Counsel further urged the court to admit the defendants to bail adding that they would be available for trial at the next adjourned date for hearing of the matter.
Steve Odiase Esq. Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), informed the court that he is not opposing the bail application.
The Hon. Justice Silvanus Orji gave an order and granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties in like sum.
That the sureties must be working civil servants not below grade level 14 and resident in Abuja with traceable addresses to be verified by the court or the prosecution counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
That the defendants must not travel out of Nigeria without the permission of the Hon. court.
That the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail application conditions.
The Hon. Justice Silvanus Orji of the Federal High Court, FCT, Abuja subsequently adjourned the matter till May 22 and 25, 2017 respectively for hearing of the matter.