Alleged N2.2bn Fraud: Court adjourns Mamman Ali’s trial to March 25

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On Friday, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, adjourned the trial of Mamman Nasir Ali and Christian Taylor, who are accused of fraud involving N2.2 billion in oil subsidies, to March 25, 2024.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economical and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on Friday, March 24, 2023, re-arraigned the two defendants alongside Nasaman Oil Services Limited on an amended 49-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence contrary to Section 8 and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, forgery contrary to Section 363 (3)(j) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011; and use of false documents contrary to Section 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

One of the counts reads: “Nasaman Oil Services Ltd, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo (now at large) and Olabisi Abdul-Afeez (still at large), on or about the 9th day of November 2011 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud ,conspired to obtain the sum of N749,991,273.36 (Seven Hundred and Forty-nine Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-one Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-three Naira Thirty-six Kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely claiming that the sum of N749,991,273.36 represented subsidy accruing to Nasaman Oil Services Ltd under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 10,031,986 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which Nasaman Oil Services Ltd purported to have purchased from SEATAC Petroleum Ltd of British Virgin Islands and imported into Nigeria through MT Liquid Fortune Ltd of British Virgin Islands and imported into Nigeria through MT Liquid Fortune Ltd Ex MT Overseas Lima, which representation you knew to be false.”

Another count reads: “Nasaman Oil Services Ltd, Mamman Nasir Ali, Christian Taylor, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo (now at large) and Olabisi Abdul-Afeez (still at large),on or about the 11th day of April 2011 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N1,480,074,125.61 (One Billion Four Hundred and Eighty Million Seventy-four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-five Naira Sixty-one Kobo) from the Federal Government of Nigeria by claiming that the sum represented subsidy accruing to Nasaman Oil Services Ltd under the Petroleum Support Fund for the importation of 20,492,982.50 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),which Nasaman Oil Services Ltd purported to have purchased from SEATAC Petroleum Ltd of British Virgin Islands and imported into Nigeria through MT Liquid Fortune Ex Mt. Hellenic Blue and Ex MT. Milleura, which representation you knew to be false.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against them.

At Friday’s proceedings, prosecution counsel, S.K. Atteh informed the court that one of the witnesses was indisposed, while the other had flight issues. He, therefore, prayed for an adjournment.

There was no objection by the defence counsel, Kolade Obafemi.

Consequently, the Judge adjourned till March 25 and 26, 2024 for continuation of trial.

The defendants were initially standing trial before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja. However, following Justice Onigbanjo’s withdrawal from the case on health grounds, the case was re-assigned to Justice Dada.