EFCC News: Court Sentence Two to Eight Years Jail Term Over N789.6m Oil Fraud


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, January 26, 2018, secured the conviction and sentencing of two oil marketers, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah, owners of Rocky Energy Limited, before Justice Latifat Okunnu of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The duo alongside one Adamu Maula, owner of Downstream Energy Sources Limited, had been re-arraigned on April 1, 2014 on an amended 26-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery, uttering and use of false documents to the tune of N789.6 million fraud.

They had claimed to have imported 10, 862 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, for which they were paid the sum of money by the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF.
However, investigation revealed that the defendants had made the claim using forged documents.
Counsels to the defendants, in separate no-case submissions, had urged the court to dismiss the charge against their clients for lack of merit.
However, in the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had presented 11 witnesses, including Abdulrasheed Bawa, an investigator with the EFCC, who all gave evidence in the case.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Okunnu sentenced the both Ogbonna and Morah to eight years 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.
In his reaction to the judgment, Jacobs thanked the court for allowing justice to prevail during course of the trial.