Three oil marketers, Adamu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah, were on Tuesday re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged N789.6 million fuel subsidy fraud.
The marketers along and their companies – Downstream Energy Sources Ltd. and Rocky Energy Ltd. – were arraigned before an Ikeja High Court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu.
The defendants are facing a 26-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and altering.
The defendants were earlier arraigned on February 26, 2013 on an eight-count charge.
They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in the sum of N50 million each, with two sureties in like sum.
The Counsel to EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, alleged that the defendants committed the offences between March 2011 and January 2012 in Lagos.
He alleged that they fraudulently obtained N789.6 million from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 14.2 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit from Europe to Nigeria.
The prosecutor also accused them of forging documents, including bill of lading, certificate of quantity, certificate of origin and cargo manifest, which they allegedly used in facilitating the fraud.
Jacobs said their offences contravened Section 1 (sub-sections 1,2,3) and Section 8 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2006.
According to him, it also contravened sections 363 and 364 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos state 2003.
The defendants again pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The judge ordered that they should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted to them by the court.
She adjourned the matter to June 10, for trial.