Subsidy scam: Witness denies theft of N968.7m

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A banker, Mr. Uchenna Adobaka, yesterday, testified before an Ikeja High Court that an oil marketer, Mr. Rowaye Jubril, answering charges of stealing oil subsidy fund borrowed money from his bank to finance fuel importation into the country.

Adobaka, a Deputy Manager, Energy Group of Spring Bank, who appeared as an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s, EFCC, witness contradicted the evidence presented before the same court, yesterday, wherein it was disclosed that the oil marketer did not import the fuel for which he was paid  N963.7 million as subsidy fund.

Jubril is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside his company, Brila Energy Ltd., for allegedly obtaining the money under pretence to import 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS.

In his evidence before the court, he told Justice Lateefa Okunnu that Jubril approached his bank sometime in 2010 requesting for a loan to enable him import some quantity of petroleum products approved to be imported by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.

He said, a credit facility of $11.9 million was thereafter granted to him to execute the business transaction.

While being cross examined by Jubril’s lawyer, the witness  said to enable them monitor the utilisation of the fund,  the bank appointed General Marine and Oil Services Ltd. to supervise the importation and discharge of the product on its behalf.

However, he informed the court that the company wrote to Spring Bank admitting that they did not supervised the discharge of the product at Obat Jetty in Lagos, adding that there were some discrepancies in the shipping documents submitted by General Marine Oil Services Ltd. and their corresponding bank, Union Bank UK, on the transaction.

Further hearing was adjourned till April 28, 2014.


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