Seven Dangote workers, one other docked for alleged N451m theft
Seven employees of Dangote Sugar Refinery and a businessman were yesterday arraigned before a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, for allegedly stealing N451 million belonging to the company.
They were arraigned on an eight-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, forgery and presentation of false documents before vacation judge, Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya.
The defendants were Musa Sule, Joseph Ukpah, Babatunde Ajao, Chinedu Onyekwere, Ezekiel Omoro, Rahman Alayande and Odion Abugba. The businessman, Habib Mande and his company El-Habib Property Nigeria Limited, were arraigned alongside the workers of the sugar company.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Jackson, told the court that the defendants committed the offence between 2012 and 2016 at Dangote Sugar Refinery, Apapa, Lagos.
“Mande, a businessman who has previously had dealings with the company conspired with the other defendants and stole N451 million, property of Dangote Sugar Refinery. On November 30, 2015, September 7, 2015 and April 26, 2016, they forged and uttered false cheque requisition forms with numbers 132243, 132229 and 132279 respectively.
The company had in a petition to the police signed by DGM, Murtala Zubair and dated November 17, 2016, narrated how the alleged theft was discovered during a routine audit on company accounts.
According to the petition, the audit revealed that N67.9 million was illegally taken from the company account into the account of El-Habib Property Nigeria Limited, a company belonging to Mande.
Internal investigations revealed that the company had no pending claims with the sugar refinery and Mande had not been engaged in any business services for the company in recent times.
Their offences contrary to Sections 390 (9), 465, 467, 468 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.Two other employees who are at large, Zainab Adebanjo and Manir Mohammed, have been declared wanted by officers of the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos.
When the charges were read, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the state prosecutor, Mr. Jackson.Justice Ogunsanya noted that the defendants were still on administrative bail. She ordered that they remain on the bail conditions and adjourned the case till September 22.