N979.6m subsidy fraud: Suspect flees to Canada



The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that an oil marketer, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, who is standing trial over an alleged N979.6 million subsidy fraud, has fled to Canada.

Counsel to EFCC, Mr Emmanuel Jackson,  who disclosed this at the resumption of Ogunbambo’s trial before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, stressed that intelligence report available to the anti-graft agency showed that the accused person was not attacked by suspected abductors as claimed by the defence counsel, but had fled the country.
Ogunbambo and another oil marketer, Habila Theck, are being tried along with their firm, Fargo Energy Ltd.
Justice Onigbanjo had on Feb.10 issued a bench warrant against Ogunbambo after he failed to appear before the court for the continuation of the trial.

However, yesterday, his counsel, Mr. Raphael Oluyede, in an application dated February 11, 2014, urged the court to stay execution of the bench warrant and also to restrain the EFCC from arresting him.
Oluyede said this was pending the hearing and determination of Ogunbambo’s appeal against the bench warrant which had been filed before the Court of Appeal, Lagos.
He said Ogunbambo was absent from court because he was recently attacked by some unknown gunmen who had wanted to abduct him.

Opposing the application, Jackson said the EFCC had not been able to execute the bench warrant as ordered by the court.
He said: “We have deposed in our affidavit that intelligence available to the EFCC is that the defendant (Ogunbambo) has left the country to Canada. The Commission is concerned because of the number of cases we have filed against him.
“He has abused the liberty of being granted bail and his action is making the criminal law to look like a toothless bulldog.”
He debunked the claim that Ogunbambo was recently attacked by some unknown gunmen, adding that it was evident that he was no longer in Nigeria.

“This particular application is an application that ought to be dismissed because it is an abuse of court process.”
The judge adjourned the matter till April 28, for ruling on the application.

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