N1.1bn subsidy scam: Court dismisses Alao’s suit

high_court_lagos_federalJustice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court, yesterday, dismissed the application filed by Abdullahi Alao, son of an Ibadan-based businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao, seeking to quash the alleged N1.1 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge levelled against him by the Economic & Financial Crimes, EFCC.

The trial judge dismissed the application over lack of merit.

Abdullahi Alao, is standing trial, alongside two other oil marketers, Opeyemi Ajuyah and Olarenwaju Olalusi, and their companies – Majope Investment Ltd. and Axenergy Ltd.

The oil marketers and their companies are facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery, uttering and use of false documents.

Alao and his company, Axenergy Limited had in a motion dated July 23, 2013 filed through their counsel, O Awonuga to urge the court to dismiss the eight-count charge preferred against him for lack of jurisdiction.

In her ruling, Justice Okunnu, held that the EFCC acting in pursuant to its enabling laws can prosecute a criminal case in any court.
Okunnu said the EFCC is authorised by the Constitution to prosecute criminal cases in any part of the country.

The judge further  said that contrary to the submission of the defendant’s counsel, it is the motion papers that shows the case and not the submissions of the counsel.

She held that the EFCC is a common agency for both the states and federal and can prosecute criminal cases in any part of the country.

She therefore dismissed the application for lack of merit and adjourned further trial till October 30, 2013.

 

Information from Vanguard was used in this report.

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