Justice Adeniji Onigbanjo of Nigeria’s Lagos High Court, Ikeja today granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an order for interim forfeiture of assets belonging to an oil marketer, Mr. Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, who is standing trial with other persons over his alleged involvement in fuel subsidy fraud.
Though the anti-graft agency did not specify the worth of all the assets it sought the court to freeze, it alleged that Ogunbambo was being prosecuted for various frauds amounting to about N4.5bn. The affected assets, mostly bank accounts in United Kingdom and five Nigerian banks, also included a landed property at 2 Olamijuyin, Avenue Parkview Estate, Ikoyi Lagos.
The UK bank account bearing the name of his England-based company, Seatac Petroleum Ltd, was said to be having £1m standing to its credit. Five of the bank accounts bear the names of his companies, Fargo Petroleum Gas Ltd, Arnage Oil & Gas Ltd and Seatac. Also, one company, Nassaman Oil Service Ltd, belonging to Mamman, son of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ahmadu Ali, was among the assets frozen at the instance of alleged fraud linked with Ogunbambo.
In another charge involving Ogunbambo and his firm, Adeline Investment, pending before another judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, the defendant was alleged to have used forged cheques and false claims to defraud Stanbic IBTC Bank of over N430m in 2010. The defendant was also alleged to have defrauded the Federal Government of over N976.7m under the fuel subsidy scheme.
In a third separate charge involving him, Mamman Ali, Christian Taylor as well as Nasaman Oil Services, he was accused of defrauding the FG of N4.5bn under the subsidy scheme.Meanwhile one of the cases that also came up before Justice Akinlade today was stalled due to the absence Ogunbambo’s counsel, Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN), from court. Akinlade who reluntantly adjourned the matter till 14 March, frowned at the development, saying she would no longer tolerate any application for adjournment at the accused person’s instance.
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