A file photo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja
The trial of Abubakar Peters and his company, Nadabo Energy Limited, for an alleged N1.4 billion fraud before Justice Christopher Balogun of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, continued on Tuesday with the cross-examination of the fifth prosecution witness, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
During the proceedings, the defence counsel, Osagie Isiramen, was present and he continued with the cross-examination of Bawa.
Under cross-examination, Bawa identified Exhibit B as the bundle of documents submitted to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for processing the subsidy funds claimed by the defendant.
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“This is the bundle of documents submitted by the defendant to the PPPRA, which we requested from the agency for the certified true copy and they obliged us,” he said.
Bawa also identified Exhibit W as the bundle of documents furnished to the EFCC by the defendant.
He further confirmed that the covering letter as seen in Exhibit B was signed by Ted Okonkwo, Head, Port Harcourt Zone of PPPRA, whom he said “acted, to the best of our knowledge, based on the documents available to him and information received allegedly.”
When questioned further, Bawa said: “The EFCC looked at the bigger picture and concentrated on what the government had lost in the entire scheme of the alleged fraud and took a decision on who to charge.”
When asked about the role of Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, particularly the documents they contributed to allegedly obtain subsidy funds for the defendant, Bawa told the Court that “Through our investigation, we found out that the content of the documents submitted, including a letter written by Masters Energy to PPPRA that the defendant discharged 14,000MT equivalent to about 19,000,000 litres of PMS in their tank farm is false.”
He further told the Court that “The EFCC is carrying out a holistic investigation of the company itself regarding its activities. From our findings, some documents from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, were also false.”
The case has been adjourned till March 1 and 22.