Tuesday, 10 June 2014

EFCC opposes quash of fuel subsidy scam

EFCC logoThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opposed bids by three suspects standing trial in a $1,8 billion fuel subsidy scam, to quash charges preferred against them.

Mahmud Tukur, Abdulahi Alao, Ochonogor Alex and their company, Eterna Plc, are facing the graft charges.

At the resumed hearing of the matter before Justice Lawal Akapo of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, prayed the court not to entertain the submissions of the defence team led by Tayo Oyetibo to quash the charges.

Oyetibo had argued that the charges preferred against the accused persons should not be entertained by the court because it was their company, Eternal Plc that committed the crime imputed to them.

Jacobs pointed out that the position of the law, on the issue, is that "a company on its own cannot commit a crime or act on its own but must use human agents."

He further submitted that, the company, without the human agents, could not answer to the alleged crime and that the roles played by the accused persons were clearly stated in their statements.

He urged the court to "look at the statement of the first accused(Mahmud Tukur) who gave a vivid account of the transaction and how he signed for the monies paid into the account of the Eterna Plc.”

Jacobs further submitted that Tukur's statement shows his involvement in the transaction that led to the charge.

Besides, he said the accused is involved in the day- to- day-running of the affairs of the company and that Ochonogor as Director of Finance during this period, played major role in the importation and transfer of licence.

“So, Tukur and Ochonogor are qualified to be charged together with Eterna Plc, as defined under the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State,” he submitted.

The matter has been adjourned to June 27.

- CAJ News

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