Court jails two oil marketers eight years for N789.6m fraud

High Court

A Lagos High Court in Ikeja has sentenced two oil marketers to eight years imprisonment.

Justice Latifat Okunnu convicted them, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah, on a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy.

The charges also included obtaining by false pretence and forgery amounting to N789.6million.

The convicts, who are owners of Rocky Energy Limited, were prosecuted alongside one Adamu Maula, who owns Downstream Energy Sources Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged them on the offences.

According to the commission, the convicts imported 10, 862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), for which the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) paid them.

Investigation revealed that the documents used by the defendants in the transactions were forged

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

But, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), presented 11 witnesses, including Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC, and also tendered some documents in evidence.

Justice Okunnu found Ogbonna and Morah guilty and sentenced them to the terms of imprisonment each.

The judge also 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.

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EFCCLagos High Court
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