By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH with agency report
IKEJA — Two oil marketers, Mahmud Tukur and Abdullahi Alao yesterday informed an Ikeja High Court that they were in discussion with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, regarding the charges preferred against them.
Tukur and Alao were charged to court for an alleged N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud.
The defendants are sons of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao, respectively.
They were arraigned alongside Ochonogor Alex and Eternal Oil and Gas Plc before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty and were each granted bail in the sum of N20 million.
At the resumed proceedings yesterday, the defence counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun and Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (both Senior Advocates of Nigeria), hinted the court of the talks between the parties.
Olanipekun said:”We have studied the processes filed by the prosecution.
“We as senior counsel, owe it as a duty to our clients to enter into discussion with the prosecution regarding the charge.
“That is why we did not challenge the charge when it was filed.
“We are, therefore, asking the court to give us more time to engage in this discussion, so that the matter can be speedily resolved”.
EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) also confirmed that both parties were talking.
The judge acceded to their request and adjourned the matter to Dec. 15 for mention.
Meantime, an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril and his firm, Brila Energy Limited were yesterday arraigned on a 13- count charge of obtaining money by false pretense, uttering and forgery.
According to the charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Lateefat Okunnu, they are accused of allegedly swindling the Federal Government of N963.7 million fuel subsidy money.