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Court adjourns oil marketer’s trial

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By Innocent Anaba

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till May 17 for continuation of trial of an oil marketer, Olaniran Ogundipe, and his company, Petroleum Broker Nigeria Limited, over N1.3 billion oil subsidy fraud.

The case which was earlier slated for, yesterday, could not continue due to the absence of a prosecution witness in court.

The prosecutor, Mr Dania Abdullahi, as well as defence counsel were however, present in court.

Trial will now resume on the next adjourned date.

Ogundipe and his company were arraigned before the court on March 19, 2014.

In an amended charge, the accused, his company, and other persons now at large, were alleged to have committed the offence between  January and April, 2011.

They were said to have obtained the sum of N1.3 billion as subsidy from the Federal Government under false pretence that they had imported and sold 17,837,160 litres of petrol, into the country via MT Aidin (Ex MT Stena FR8).

They were also alleged to have on or about January to April, 2011, forged import and vessels documents which they used to obtain the said sum from the Federal Government, as fuel subsidy.

They were also alleged to have between January and April 2011, with intent to defraud the Federal Government, forged Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc.

Ogundipe was also said to have forged Marine Certificate number 0006108, dated February 18, 2011, for 15, 000 metrics tonne of petrol.

The accused was alleged to have forged Certificate of Quality, which they claimed was issued by SGS Inspection Services Nigeria Ltd, and used it to obtain the payment for the subsidy.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently on bail.

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